Teacher: Karissa Sorrell

School: Ascension Episcopal School

Grades/Subjects: AP Literature and Composition to juniors and Dual Enrollment English to seniors

Why this teacher was nominated:

Karissa is focused on student success, but she defines that success as encompassing more than what can be measured in the classroom. Karissa is the kind of teacher we recommend new teachers observe. She is organized, thoughtful, passionate, and always eager to improve. She seeks constructive feedback and cares deeply for her students.

Why did you decide to become a teacher?

I wanted to work with young people and inspire them to figure out who they are and to do good in the world. I think the younger generations have so much creativity and potential. I believe in encouraging young people to use their talents and voice to effect change in their environments.

How has the coronavirus affected your work the most?

We’ve been fortunate to be face-to-face all year at my school (with an online option). However, movement and sharing materials are limited, so I can’t use a lot of the interactive activities I typically like to use. I have had to find ways to interact more in online spaces. I’ve focused more on building discussion and debates instead of group activities that require movement or close proximity.

What keeps you going, even during the tough times?

I lean on my family, close friends and my faith to encourage and support me. I also find solace in art – novels, music, film, poetry. Art has a way of showing us that we are not alone, whether in our suffering or our joy.