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Teacher Feature: Dr. Jean Sando

posted Dec 8, 2018, 6:41 PM by Andrew Tichy
Dr. Sando in her classroom
Photo: Ian Creech | The Spud

By: Ian Creech

Dr. Jean Sando had a very interesting path towards being a teacher. Despite going to college to become a teacher, she didn’t start teaching until she was 41 years old. She enjoys teaching immensely, but she also recalls that she used to hate it. “I got to student teaching, and I had a terrible experience and hated it.  Looking back, I was very young and lacked confidence.” said Sando.

Student teaching was so terrible of an experience for her that she decided to give up on it.  I decided not to continue in teaching and enrolled in a Master's degree program at Indiana State University.  I eventually got my Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction, but I was really studying educational assessment.” said Sando. For those that don’t know, educational assessment is analyzing different teaching methods, and trying to find what works the best. “I started my career in assessment and worked as a development director, director of Student Support Services, Assistant Vice President for Academic Affairs and Associate Vice President of Academic Affairs,” said Sando. She likely would’ve held this position for a very long time if it weren’t for a sudden change in leadership. “Our new President decided that she wanted a clean slate and sent our whole department back to other positions,” said Sando.

This ended up being a stroke of luck for students here at Moorhead High School; Sando was moved to a teaching position. “I found myself teaching writing, and I LOVED it.  I had been away from teaching for so long, I was very nervous, but I simply loved interacting with students. I decided to get my teaching license back and continue teaching at the high school level.” said Sando. After teaching there for a bit, she came to Moorhead High in 2011, and she obtained a second license in reading.

Dr. Sando is very content with the chain of events that led to her teaching again. “I am so exceptionally happy teaching at the high school.  At 21, I was not ready to teach. At 41, I found teaching a delight. I've been teaching for 8 years now, and I really love it. I love interacting with young people and having conversations with them about big concepts like mythology and the nature of our understanding of the mysterious.  I also love teaching grammar and the concrete as well as creative elements of writing, and I'm very proud of the effective reading acceleration program we have here.said Sando.

Sando teaching at Moorhead High was lightning in a bottle. So many chances lined up perfectly in order for her to teach here. Her terrible experience with student teaching leading her to pursue a different job. Working that new job for over 15 years before a new boss took over. The new boss deciding to switch up the departments. Dr. Sando getting a teaching job, and finding herself enjoying it. If only one of these things had gone differently, she likely wouldn’t be teaching here today, and this article wouldn’t exist. Thank you so much, Dr. Sando, for impacting this learning environment in such a positive way.