Teacher Spotlight

TeacherSpotlight_Slide

Klug

Sara Klug’s impact has been felt in Pinellas County and across Florida for nearly 40 years. Her unique blend of positivity and passion for special-needs students has made her not only one of the most awarded teachers at the FCEE’s annual Governor’s Awards for Excellence in Teaching Economic Program, but earned her top honors on the international stage as well when she was named the 2018 Clarissa Hug Teacher of the Year from the Council for Exceptional Children earlier this year. Many of Sara’s former students still keep in touch with their favorite middle school teacher, providing updates on their jobs and families throughout the years. Please help us congratulate Sara Klug our second quarter Teacher Spotlight!

Largo special needs teacher Sara Klug honored with international Teacher of the Year award


School: Morgan Fitzgerald Middle

School District: Pinellas County

Subject: ESE Reading and Unique Skills

Grade Level: 6th , 7th  & 8th Grade

Number of Years Teaching: 38

When did you know you wanted to be a teacher? My Mom knew I wanted to be a teacher before I did. She tells me stories of when I was a little girl and how I would line up my dolls in front of a chalk board and spend hours teaching them. As an adult, I actually knew I wanted to be a teacher after working at a KinderCare Learning Center.

If you weren’t teaching what would you do? While my greatest love is being in the classroom, if I weren’t teaching, I would want to work in a field that allowed me to exercise and develop my creative side.

What’s your favorite topic to teach? My favorite topic to teach is Intensive Reading. When the light comes on and a student makes a connection, it is a very rewarding experience.

What’s the hardest topic to teach? Intensive Reading is the hardest topic to teach, as well as my favorite. I personally love the challenge.

Why do you think Economics and Personal Finance are important to learn? My students with exceptionalities struggle to master the grade level curriculum in many of their classes. Incorporating financial literacy, including operating an actual business for an economics project, gives them a real world connection making it easier for them to understand concepts. Teaching reading allows me the opportunity to incorporate economic literacy skills and concepts. My goal for my students is to teach them how to become productive members of the workforce and provide them with the tools to become responsible consumers and investors. This, along with participating in economics projects gives my students an opportunity to succeed and shine. Not only that, it provides practical knowledge that will serve them well in their future lives, and brings a realization that they can make a difference in their community and in people’s lives.

How has the FCEE impacted your teaching? The Florida Council for Economic Education provides an abundance of resources and support for teachers. They partner with numerous Centers for Economics throughout the state of Florida which enhances their commitment to educate teachers about the free enterprise system. When I first started my teaching career, I knew I wanted to incorporate financial literacy into my curriculum. The FCEE was there to provide me with the training and resources to effectively teach financial literacy. I believe the FCEE has had a direct impact on the teacher I have become and for that I would like to say thank you!

What’s your favorite FCEE resource or program?
My favorite resource is the Financial Freedom workbook, and my personal favorite program is “The Governor’s Award Program”. This awards program does an amazing job celebrating teachers who teach economics. This awards program makes all teachers feel special and encourages others to teach economics. Every time I attend the Governor’s Awards I leave feeling empowered and recognized for making a difference in children’s lives.

What advice would you give to a first-year economics or personal finance teacher? A first year teacher can most benefit from observing an effective teacher teaching economics. My advice would also be to seek resources that are available. There are many Centers for Economic Education that host regular workshops to help K-12 educators implement economic education and financial literacy curriculum into their classrooms. The advantage is that while attending these workshops teachers have opportunities to network and share ideas and lessons. Teaching economics concepts can be intimidating and having a support system to encourage and guide you, will give you the tools to be successful!

What do you like to do for fun outside of school? My husband has always been a traveler and since we met, I have learned the art of traveling and the adventure it brings. I look forward to making more memories with my husband!

What’s one thing your students may not know about you? The one thing students may not know about me is that I am a better teacher because of them. Daily, I learn new things and they teach me so much! My grandmother was a teacher and I still to this day hear her say that teaching is a gift and being paid is an added bonus.