Sarah  Milianta-Laffin

Sarah Milianta-Laffin

STEM Lab Teacher


Hawaii Department of Education

Milestones

Milestones

My road in life took a while to figure out.
BrokenLeg
College
MultipleJobs
Family
Internships
Teaching
AlternativeCertification
Moving
Keep following my journey
Education

Education

highschool
High School
Warren Central High School
undergrad
Bachelor
Political Science and Government, General
Indiana University
Career

Career

STEM Lab Teacher

I ignite a passion for STEM learning within my students, empowering them to go out and change the world.

Career Roadmap

Roadmap
My work combines:
My work combines:
Education
Education
Science
Science
Upholding a Cause and Belief
Upholding a Cause and Belief

Day to Day

I can't say that we have a "typical" day in teaching. Part of the profession is that you always have to be on your toes; things can change quickly. This change could be a special assembly, a fire drill, a parent phone call, or simply a lesson that is crashing and burning around you that you have to rework right away. I teach 3 90-minute blocks of STEM Lab per day, and have a homeroom and advisory class. My school day ends at 2:45, but typically I stay working until the building closes at 5.

Skills & Qualities Beyond School

I use a lot of the reading, writing, and public-speaking skills I honed in college getting my Political Science degree. I write many grants for materials and opportunities. I constantly seek training opportunities and certifications. In 2013, I was awarded a "Fund for Teachers" fellowship that allowed me to attend a class in Greece that changed my worldview. I've taken classes to be Project Lead the Way, Code.org, and Google certified. I'm also focusing on social-emotional learning.

Advice for Getting Started

Here's the first step for everyone

I think you really need to know your core values. What do you believe? If you believe that all students can learn - join us. If you think that kids should work in rows of desks quietly, and that you'll get to leave work at 3pm everyday, maybe this gig isn't for you. I came into teaching through "Teach for America" and they have great resources to get you thinking about alternative certification. Follow educators on Twitter, and groups like @edutopia and @edweek to learn about what's new.

Recommended Education

My career is related to what I studied. I'd recommend the path I took:

undergrad
Bachelor
Political Science and Government, General
Hurdles

Hurdles

The Noise I Shed

From Society in General:

"I heard a lot of subtle messages growing up that led me to believe that girls, myself included, weren't good at math and science. When I started teaching math, I was terrified that I couldn't do it. Turns out, I knew way more than I thought I did."

I feel a responsibility to encourage my female students, and students from traditionally-marginalized populations to study STEM topics. I don't have to know every detail about every discipline to be their cheerleader. Find your cheerleader! If you don't have one, be one! Be passionate about what you do and how you do it; emotional intelligence is important. My "job" is to give students the best education possible; my mission is to fight for all students to have equal access to the same.

Challenges I Overcame

Financial
Financial

As the oldest of 5 kids to a single mother, the cost of college looked insurmountable. Do anything and everything you can to get through it. Seek those in the same boat; they become your college 'family' because they just "get it." You can do it!