Sara Goldrath is a member of DeLeT Cohort 12 at HUC-JIR. She completed her internship in a 2nd grade classroom at Brandeis Hillel Day School in San Francisco, CA. Everyone has a different story about how they decided they wanted to be an educator, and sometimes, they don’t enter the profession in a way you might predict. Sara was a recently graduated theater major who was looking for a job, and found a position as an administrative assistant at a Jewish day school. She quickly realized how much she loved working in a day school setting. The school administrators noticed something about her, as well, and started giving her added responsibilities like substitute teaching, being a teacher’s assistant, and leading an improv class. After Sara had been at the school for two years, she even found herself managing their after-school program. Of all of the hats she wore at the school, Sara realized she was happiest in the classroom. She decided to formalize her teaching education—when she heard about DeLeT, she thought it was a perfect match for her. The more she learned about DeLeT, the more she realized her decision to apply was the right one. She loves the small cohort aspect, especially since her previous experience was with a large university in which she felt like just another face in the crowd. She also appreciates that this program allows her to be in the classroom with students for an entire year, as opposed to just part of the year that other programs offer. She has enjoyed having the opportunity to watch students’ journeys from the beginning of the year to the end of the year, and has seen how much they have grown and changed. And finally, she has been thrilled with the relationships she has built with her mentors—they have supported her throughout her work this year, and she feels very lucky for these connections. Sara noted that throughout the year, the administration, staff, parents, and students at her internship school, Brandeis Hillel Day School, treated her like a teacher, and not an intern. There are also other DeLeT alumni on staff at BHDS, so she was able to see what others were able to do with their careers post-DeLeT. DeLeT is structured in the following way: there are fellows placed at various schools throughout the greater San Diego, Los Angeles, and San Francisco areas, and all of the fellows gather for classes twice each week. Sara was not anticipating the amount she would learn about school culture from this experience. Not only was she able to learn about BHDS through her inquiry-driven assignments, but she was able to learn about the other participating schools through the experiences of her colleagues. The apex of this was through the Kallot, where she had a chance to actually visit these schools, gaining a feel for their cultures herself. Sara is also very grateful for the distance learning aspect of DeLeT. Thanks to videoconferencing, she was able to stay in the bay area throughout the school year, only relocating to Los Angeles for the five-week summer semesters. At this moment, Sara’s career goal is to establish herself as an experienced day school classroom teacher, ideally in the younger grades. She plans to clear her CA Preliminary Credential, and maybe one day pursue a master’s degree. We know that her students will be lucky to have her as a teacher.
Fellow Profile: Sara Goldrath