WENDY SASS, English Department
Q: What made you decide to English?
A: I had a really great 11th grade English teacher, Mr. Rozek, that really cared about ALL students. He made a point to connect to every student in his class, and he made reading fun. He provided us with interesting stories that weren’t the same old boring things we were reading in other classes
Q: What does your typical workday look like?
A: I don’t think there is a typical workday anymore, but I get in to school around 6:45, make sure my daily plans are posted to Google Classroom and then meeting with my other English I teachers to prepare for the day (and on Friday we bring donuts).
Q: What has been the biggest challenge with online learning?
A: The biggest challenge for online learning is the lack of personal connection I have with students. It’s hard to teach to computer screens, and very few students turn their cameras on.
Q: Tell me about your background.
A: I am from Michigan originally, but my husband and I moved to Roanoke Rapids, NC in 2005 where I started teaching at Roanoke Rapids High School. I have been there for the last 15 years. I have taught all grades 9th – 12th including all English subjects from remedial 9th grade to AP Lit for 12th. I started the creative writing program there, and have helped it grow for the last 12 years.
Q: What brought you to Wakefield?
A: My family was ready for a change and we have wanted to move toward the Raleigh way for the last 5 years or so. I wanted to provide my children with more opportunities than they had available in Roanoke Rapids, and when I interviewed with Wakefield, I knew that I would be a good fit for the English department. Wakefield also shares the values and believes I feel are important to education.
Q: What do you like most about Wakefield so far?
A: The people are amazing, and the campus is beautiful. Plus, there are goats and chickens!
Q: What do you like to do outside of school?
A: I like to remodel my house, build things, plant flowers, make crafts, run my children to all of their practices, and read. I have so many things I like doing, but never have the time!
Q: Do you have any crazy teaching stories?
A: Definitely! But, in Creative Writing, we have the mantra, “What happens in creative writing, stays in creative writing.” So I can’t tell you all the nitty-gritty. My favorite 9th-grade memory, though, is the time we were reading Romeo and Juliet and I made all my 9th graders take a spot on the balcony or in the bushes to recite the famous, “Romeo Romeo wherefor art thou Romeo” speeches.” They were soooooo embarrassed, but it became a rite of passage for the honors kids: if you had Mrs. Sass, you got on the balcony!
Q: What is your advice for students taking your class(es)?
A: To participate and be involved in the class. And DO THE WORK. And if you can’t do the work, then ask me for help. Students sometimes don’t ask for help when they don’t understand something, but I promise I am here to help. I am also a nag, so if I don’t get my work, you won’t hear the end of it until it’s turned in!