Educator and founder, EduMatch

And - PhD; presenter; speaker

,,

If you're not invited to the table, build your own table. And build it anyway.

Sarah Thomas

What do you do?

I work in a school district as a Regional Technology Coordinator, which means that I am on a team that helps to support technology integration across the 208 schools in our district. Additionally, I work as an Affiliate Faculty member at a local university, teaching Master's classes in their Education Technology program. Finally, I am the founder of an educational organization, EduMatch, which connects educators globally along topics of similar interest.

Why did you choose this field?

I did not know I would go into education when I began university. I completed a Bachelor's degree in Radio-Television-Film, but looking back, I have always chosen to work with children.

The tipping point was when my mother began teaching middle school French and I would visit her at work. Once I started working with her students, I realized this was where I was meant to be. I was accepted into an alternative certification program the following year, and began teaching the year after that.

What do you look at and think, "I wish younger me would have known this was possible"?

I would say that my biggest achievement has been creating EduMatch, which began organically from a conversation with a friend. Once she mentioned an idea that reminded me of something my cousin (also an educator) had brought up, I suggested they connect with each other to pursue discussions in this area.

That sparked an idea for me, to match educators based on similar interests. Since that day, we have grown to also hosting online events, publishing books, and have recently opened a non-profit.

Why do you love working in STEM?

I love how technology can bring us all together, and allow us to learn from and share so much with each other.

Best advice for next generation?

A friend once told me that, "if you're not invited to the table, build your own table." I will add, build it anyway! Create spaces for others to learn and grow together, and support each other! Finally, never stop learning.

Inspo quote / fun fact / role model

The scariest thing I have ever done was to jump out of a plane. I did this to try to cure my fear of flying. It didn't work, but what did help was to take a flying lesson. Sometimes you have to meet your fear head-on, but not always go to the extreme.

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