February Teacher of the Issue: Kirstin Sabotka

Kirstin+Sabotka+teaches+9th+grade+English.+

The Herald Dispatch

Kirstin Sabotka teaches 9th grade English.

Alannah Stone, Editor-in-Chief

There are many outstanding teachers throughout Midland, including English 9 and ELO debate honors teacher, Kirstin Sabotka.
When it comes to her personal teaching method, she doesn’t find it exactly differs greatly from her coworkers.
“I don’t know if I am very different from anyone else,” said Sabotka. “I like to think that I am just very real with my students. I try to do things that matter and that they can use later on. I think that’s why my kids enjoy being in this class because it is more discussion based, we talk it out, we write things that matter, we read things that are cool and relevant.”
The key to getting students attention comes from keeping things up-to-date and relevant, which she credits her personal teaching success to.
“I think keeping things relevant is very important. Even when we are reading The Odyssey, which is forever old, we tie it into important discussions such as gender roles and how fate or free will pushes a story. We talk about those important things and that’s what makes them excited to be here.”
As for achievements, she finds the ones that are more personal have a greater significance in her mind.
“My greatest achievements are just the very few kids who come from tough situations or have found themselves in a tough situation and they really trust me and we are able to work through it together. My achievements really come from the few kids who have trusted me enough to let me into their bubble.”
Her own high school teachers brought the greatest inspiration in her personal life and some can even be responsible for where she is today.
“I decided to teach because I felt like it was such a noble calling. I really respected all of my own teachers and I think when you are in high school, you often meet this one teacher who is a game changer for you. It just inspires you to go, ‘Wow, I want to do what they do.’ I had one of those teachers and it made me realize that I want to get that sort of respect from teenagers, because listen, you guys are tough crowd to please. If I can do that and have honest conversations, that’s what I wanted.”
Though teaching often isn’t the most glamorous job, Sabotka finds the highlights and good throughout her day.
“Freshman are funny. They make me laugh every day, all the time. That’s the part I look forward to, because they don’t even realize it. I can be dragging myself in at seven o’clock and they’ll say something and it’s funny, it’s really good. I also work on an awesome team, Ms. Keaton, Mr. Saul, Mr. Craig, Ms. Sterst, they are all awesome people and I’ve really been blessed to be surrounded by really great teachers and really funny, outgoing kids.”