San Diego

Teacher Spotlight: Dance Teacher's Unique Invention Helps Students

In honor of Teacher Appreciation Day, Sara Dickman is honored with Teacher of the Year

Although many agree that every day of the year should be Teacher Appreciation Day, Tuesday marks the celebration of those that help students learn and grow. 

San Diego Unified School District honored three teachers of the year Tuesday at a ceremony at De Portola Middle School. 

One of the teachers is Sara Dickman, a dance teacher at the Creative Performing Media Arts Middle School in San Diego who teachers 6th, 7th and 8th graders everything from ballet to jazz to tap. 

"To be a teacher, it's a really great profession with a lot of rewards even if you're not appreciated verbally every day," Dickman laughed when talking about receiving the honor. 

Dickman also teaches tap dancing to students with disabilities. For students who cannot move their legs, she created special 'tap gloves,' taking the metal part of the tap shoe and sewing it onto cotton gloves. 

Students can then use their hands to tap along to the rhythm on a piece of wood that sits in their laps. 

Dickman also consistently goes above and beyond by securing the funding needed for dance performances and dance outfits. She has even paid for these items out of her own pocket at times. 

"A lot of our kids end up in professional dance companies so it's fun to watch the growth and change," said Dickman. 

The other two winners of the Teacher of the Year award are Georgeanne Gedney, an Early Childhood Special Education teacher at Linda Vista Elementary School and Lynsey Littlefield, a Special Education Advisor at Mission Bay High School. 

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