Day in the life – Third Grade Teacher

One of my favorite things to photograph is people as they live. Seeing the everyday interactions and activities, captured into what we photographers like to call a “moment,” makes the specialness of everyday so much more apparent.

I recently had the honor of sitting in one local teacher’s classroom for the day. Ms. Cindy McGean is a phenomenal teacher – her patience, encouragement and creativity are immediately obvious. I was in awe of how full the entire day is. If Ms. McGean wasn’t actively teaching the entire class, she was conferencing with a student or another teacher, assessing & recording student’s various skill levels for later assessments, or prepping for the next subject. There was no down time. At all.

Her words follow.


I knew from pretty early on that I wanted to work with kids. I worked with kids in high school at a day care center and really enjoyed it.



After college I worked in a children’s museum for a while and I basically wanted to keep actually doing things until I got to the point that I didn’t have the degree I needed to get any further. I ended up working for an organization called Metropolitan Family Service where I was running their volunteer program.



I realized I was doing administrative work and I wanted to be doing what my volunteers were doing. That meant it was time to go back to school and get my teaching license.




I think it is a powerful way to make a difference in the world.




You can change the world one person at a time.



It is also never boring and it energizes me.



I spend a lot of time thinking about things, making connections and solving problems in my head.


But in terms of the why – you can change the world one person at a time. I think we all remember somebody like that.



There’s a lot of resiliency research around what makes a difference for kids when they have something hard happen, and part of it is caring adults in their life.


Thank you so much for welcoming me into your classroom Ms. McGean! I have a lot of respect and admiration for the work you do and they way you do it!

One thought on “Day in the life – Third Grade Teacher

  1. Sue Thom says:

    This is wonderful Sarah. I volunteered in a fourth grade classroom for years. This etcher too was amazing and so very dedicated. We are lucky that there are so many wonderful teachers guiding our children.


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