Sara StCyr: From being a scientist to teaching science  

Published 9:02 am Thursday, January 13, 2022

Sarah StCyr, a science teacher at W.W. Lewis Middle School, transitioned from being a scientist to teaching science and found the greatest joy. Graduating from LSU with a bachelor of science, StCyr worked as a neuroscience researcher in New Orleans and Baton Rouge upon graduating.

She decided to pivot to teaching after making an important observation about her research position. “My favorite part about doing my research was when we had to share our findings with our co-workers. I really enjoyed explaining the various projects I was working on and the results I was getting, so, I decided that I wanted to explain that science for a living.”

StCyr has been teaching for 15 years in Calcasieu Parish having worked Oak Park Middle School and W.W. Lewis Middle School. She praised science supervisor Brian Fontenot for his work in the leadership position.

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“He made my job so much fun with all the great science activities he designed for us back then,” she said.

Fontenot’s support was invaluable as StCyr described her first day on the job as “so scary.” “I had my own classroom before I had even taken a single teaching class. So, I had no clue what I was doing,” she said.

She eventually went on to earn her masters of teaching from McNeese State University giving her high quality teaching education on top of her science knowledge. Helping her students truly grasp the science content is the best part of the job, she said.

“My favorite thing is to explain something to my students that they were clueless about before hand. When that lightbulb goes off and they get it, that’s the best feeling.”

On the other hand, the most difficult thing about teaching is the additional tasks teachers are required to tend to that take time away from educating students, especially high stakes testing, she said. “Any good educator knows that on any given day a student could do their best or worst depending on what else they have going on in their lives. That test score doesn’t hold any weight in the adult they’ll become one day. It’s just a snapshot.”

If given the chance to have one wish granted as an educator, StCyr wishes that the public understood how much heart teachers pour into their jobs. “Everyday I see teachers put forth so much effort but parents don’t see that a lot of time,” she said.