By Jordy Goldstein
Name: Sandra Ivey
Education: Majors at University of Maryland and Howard
Year came to Blair: 1998
Previous jobs: Research Assistant at Children's
Hobbies: Gardening, art, reading, writing, and home
Sandra Ivey sits down after deciding how long to heat her lunch in the English department's microwave. She has a welcoming smile that encourages friendly conversations. In fact, her whole manner reflects her friendly personality, from her casual blue jeans to her face that is always accompanied by a grin.
After working as a Research Assistant at Children's Hospital Center in Washington, D.C., Ivey came to Blair in 1998. She admits she "always wanted to teach," and only worked at the Hospital Center because of one of her two majors is in zoology. Her other was in English literature. She studied at the University of Maryland and Howard University.
Ivey knew for a long time she wanted to be a teacher. She laughingly explains she always thought "[it was] something I would be good at." She explains she was always tutoring other students in college. Teaching was a natural path for her to follow.
Ivey considers her eleventh grade English teacher a major inspiration. "I had an eccentric teacher. She made drama fun." Ivey readily agrees that she would call herself "eccentric" as well.
She has also done her share of inspiring as well. "I came across a student, she was not that successful in school," Ivey recalls. The student had come back to visit Blair and her teachers. Ivey sits back, serious now, explaining how the student found and talked to her. "[She told me] she wanted to be me. It touched me. If [there was] anybody she thought was a model, [it] was me," Ivey said. It was then Ivey realized that teachers can be "powerful" and can make a huge difference in the lives of their students.
Ivey teaches many different levels of English, including ninth grade SPARC and Honors Twelfth Grade English. She says she enjoys the challenge of teaching such different classes, saying that she "likes the extremes." After this remark, a teacher sitting nearby begins to laugh. Ivey introduces the woman as her assistant teacher to the SPARC class, and then both laugh as the woman reads out loud a response to a question about Of Mice and Men.
"[The] polar opposites keep me somehow focused," she says. She then giggles and speculates about possible reasons for this. "I'm a Gemini, so maybe it's the opposites," she says (referring to the astrological sign of two twins, who, according to several tarot and horoscope references, do represent opposites).
Ivey leads a busy life and doesn't have much spare time, even on weekends or during the summer. Her favorite thing to do when she does have the time would "probably be gardening."
She lists art (especially painting; she's currently working on a piece), reading, writing, and home improvement as several additional hobbies. She enjoys many different genres of books, as any good English teacher should. Her favorites are sci-fi, historical fiction, and fantasy. Although she doesn't currently run any extracurricular activities, she says if she had to, she would sponsor a book club.