Before she was serving future teachers in the TeacherReady online teaching certification program, Dr. Sarah Miller spent 17 years in the classroom as a Special Education teacher. Dr. Miller’s experience and background in education give her a unique advantage in building the support systems that make our students some of the most successful among online teacher certification programs.
Sarah brings her passion for education into her role as Director of Partnerships & Student Support for TeacherReady. As students progress through their coursework and become the best quality teachers and role models, it is Dr. Miller who secures and nurture educational-based partnerships to aid in placement after students successfully complete our program.
“As a teacher I had the opportunity to build relationships with other teachers, parents and students and I discovered the importance in building these relationships. I continue to build relationships with my students through our online teaching certification program.”
More than just an adviser, Dr. Miller enjoys following her students along their journey and sees her students successes as her own. We sat down to speak more with Sarah about some of the most rewarding parts of her job.
ST: You are very passionate about teaching and this energy has transformed into your role with TeacherReady. You’ve even described your role with students as the “best thing” about your job. How so?
DSM: My favorite part of my job is when a recent graduate calls me and tells me that they have just been offered a teaching position. It reignites my passion for education when I hear the excitement in their voice and their enthusiasm for getting ready to enter the classroom. It is fulfilling to help students start the program and ultimately see them finish. It is rewarding to see their dreams become a reality when they receive their first teaching position and I am grateful for the role that I play.”
Be The Difference
ST: TeacherReady’s online teaching certification program is unique in comparison to all the other accreditation programs. You’ve shared it implements a more personalized approach for each student and it makes all of the difference. What makes this one-on-one approach so special?
DSM: “I think one of the neatest things about TeacherReady is our one-on-one approach. We really try to meet students needs and this is something that is unique from other teacher preparation programs. Our one-on-one approach ensures that we are able to assist our students in the way they need to be successful to earn their certification.”
ST: Do you believe that online accreditation programs are a compromise of quality?
DSM: “I think there is definitely a stigma surrounding online teaching certification programs. However, I do not believe that they compromise quality. One of the things that TeacherReady is so successful at is using the data to drive instruction and maintaining constant quality. One example is special education. We try to make sure that students are placed with quality mentors in special education so that they are getting relevant experience within their state. We are constantly getting feedback from our students and we utilize that and make our program better. Since we are a accredited program we are on a different playing field and we don’t want to compromise the rigor of our program. We want to make sure we are sustaining success.”
ST: What is one piece of advice you would give someone deciding to join the TeacherReady program?
DSM: “One of the things that most students struggle with is finding the area they wish to get certified in. So, I encourage my students to choose a area that allows them to pursue their passion. I tell them this because when you teach something you are passionate about your students can feel your passion and they become passionate about what they are learning.
ST: What about TeacherReady makes you feel like you can believe in this program?
DSM: I believe in TeacherReady because we go above and beyond and really care about our students. We strive to be there for our students even after they have completed our program. Due to this, they know that they can count on us throughout their teaching career. Whether that be calling us for advice, or joining the TeacherReady alumni page to connect with alumni and gain information and professional development. We want our students to not only earn their certification. We want them to be successful throughout their teaching career.