Inside the Classroom: Sara Akers

In August of 2021, The Franciscan School had the blessing of welcoming seasoned teacher Sara Akers to our staff. Just a few days after she moved across the country from Seattle, Akers began teaching kindergarten. She brought her experience and passion to our school, and we couldn’t be more thankful. “Mrs. Akers’ bright and cheerful presence makes anyone want to spend time in her classroom,” says Principal Dawn Smith. So, we decided to learn a little more about Mrs. Akers and find out what it’s like inside her classroom.

With a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education and a master’s degree in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), Akers' experience is wide-ranging. Before teaching, Akers worked as a program director, providing ABA therapy to children with autism and supporting their teachers in the classroom. After being in several classrooms, she decided to transition into teaching to have a classroom of her own. Akers taught in kindergarten for nine years in Seattle before moving to North Carolina.

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Akers will be entering her fourth year at TFS in August. A typical day in Mrs. Akers’ classroom includes lots of learning and just as much fun. She begins each day with a morning meeting before diving into classwork. Akers believes that learning happens all around us, so the class spends as much time moving around the room as they do sitting in their seats. She aims to incorporate movement, games, and activity into lessons as much as possible, and they spend a great deal of time learning to be in the moment. Akers helps her class practice breathing, mindfulness, and prayer daily. “Meditation is one aspect of my classroom that students return year after year, saying they miss the most as they move up to first grade and beyond,” shares Akers.

Principal Smith states, “Mrs. Akers’ classroom always welcomes visitors on school tours, and she easily pivots to meet the most pressing needs at the time.”

Assistant Principal Jennifer Davis shares that “Mrs. Akers is not only a gifted and knowledgeable teacher, but she also has a joyful sense of humor. Her students adore her, and she connects with all of them on such a personal level.”

Mrs. Akers considers her classroom a family. “We start the year as a group of individual puzzle pieces, and by the end of just one school year, we are a complete puzzle. Our class is truly a family by the end.” Even after working with children for more than 15 years, Akers continues to be motivated by her students. To her, there is a lot to love about kindergarten. It’s the first step in each child’s educational journey, and so many lightbulb moments happen each day as students begin to make connections and build on their foundational skills. “Every day is different, and I wouldn't have it any other way,” says Akers excitedly. 

We are incredibly grateful for Akers enthusiasm in the classroom and dedication to our school. Her impact on the TFS community cannot be understated, " says Assistant Principal Davis. “It is an absolute privilege to work alongside her every day.”

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