Author: Sara Urben

Sara Urben is a National Board Certified elementary school teacher who leads professional development with educators from around the city. She is passionate about purposeful play in the classroom, the benefits of bilingual education, and literacy as a social justice issue.

How This Teacher Is Handling The COVID-19 School Closures

Because Illinois’ COVID-19 school closures will run right up until my two-week Spring Break in April, I, like many of you, am about to embark on a month-long separation from school period due to coronavirus concerns.  Whatever your feelings are about the virus or the decisions to temporarily close schools, this will be the reality for many teachers in the…

Redwood student

At Redwood Day, “Old-School” Phonics Helps Kids Love Reading

Editor’s note: Chicago Unheard contributor Sara Urben, a National Board Certified primary teacher and literacy coach, recently visited Redwood Day in Rogers Park to learn more about their work helping students with dyslexia learn to read well using systematic instruction in phonics. Sara sat in on a classroom and interviewed co-founder Kait Feriante. Their conversation shows how teachers can connect…

I’m a Chicago Teacher and I Want You to Challenge Me, Not Honk for Me

I am a teacher.  I care about my students and work really hard.  I have spent my entire 14-year career working in urban schools, and wouldn’t change it for anything.  Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, allow me to share some of my unpopular opinions. Here’s something I’ve been thinking a lot about lately, in light of…