Meet the Teacher: Sally Armstrong
What is your name? Sally Armstrong
What do you teach? Music for AK, 1, 2, 3, 5, Ukulele Club, and 3rd grade aide.
How many years have you taught at Dayspring? I started in 1988 (the second year of the school’s history!) as the first 2nd grade teacher. I have been involved with the school since then, as a mom to four daughters who graduated from Dayspring, and as a teacher/aide for 26 years. I have taught, assisted, or led; 2nd grade, 3rd grade, literature in 3rd, choirs, music classes in upper and lower school, “band”, musicals, ukulele club, and have been a classroom aide in 1st and 3rd grades. My husband, Dan, was the first development director for the school, and he also taught some classes. Dayspring has been a part of our family for 33 years, and I am so blessed and honored to be a part of it, and am thankful to God for calling me to it!
State your level of education, highlight any degrees, special awards, memberships, or specific focuses you have and any key accomplishments, honors, titles: I have a B.S. in music education, and am certified by ACSI. I have taken several grad courses over the years; in Bible, environment & conservation, and music. I am a 3rd level certified JHUI teacher (James Hill Ukulele Initiative) Most recently, I had the great honor to become a certified master teacher of the Principle Approach through FACE (Foundation of American Christian Education) alongside Donna Hurley and Mary Stauffer!
Why did you decide to become a teacher? I am naturally uncomfortable speaking in front of people, so I knew it HAD to be God giving me the call to be a teacher! I have always loved working with children, and music. With those loves, it was not very difficult for me to decide what I wanted to do when I graduated from high school. I thank God often that Dr. Myers approached me to ask me to teach at Dayspring when it was just a fledgling school. The Principle Approach education I received (by teaching!) at Dayspring has been invaluable and has enabled me to be a better teacher AND learner.
What do you appreciate the most about the Principle Approach? I appreciate the way it develops a biblical worldview based on absolute truth. It also enables the believer to dig deeper, to ponder and reason based on Scripture, and to develop Christian character traits so that he can make a difference in this world for the kingdom of Christ. It is truly a call to excellence and is a pathway to becoming more like Jesus.
What do you see in your students that is most encouraging? I think what encourages me most is when I see them (in music class or at any time) thinking deeply and really caring about what they are learning, and how it can be connected to God. I love when I see my music students fully engaged and enjoying the gift of music that God has given to us all. As a worship leader, I am so encouraged by the way our students worship with music during chapel times. I know that God is smiling when he hears them singing out loud and strong for Him! I am also encouraged when I see students thinking and reasoning for themselves based on the truths they have been learning in their classrooms, and applying Christian character in their relationships with others at school.
Why do you love teaching at Dayspring? For so many reasons! I love the Principle Approach and the way it enlightens the mind and heart, I love that we (the staff) are all part of the body of Christ and work together to share the gospel with our students, I love the family that I work with, I love the students and their eagerness to learn that I so often see in music class, and I truly love being able to worship and glorify God on a daily basis in the classroom.
How do you teach a biblical worldview in your classroom? As a music teacher, I remind students that music is a gift given by God, and is a gift that we will take to Heaven with us! I encourage students to notice the many references to music in the Bible, and how it is to be used to glorify God, and to refresh others. Music is also spiritual warfare, and I want students to recognize this and learn to use it effectively. My hope is that as we practice skills to be more effective musicians, students will desire to use music to reflect their own biblical worldview.
What do you think most students appreciate about your class? I like to think that my students know that I love them, am on their side, and that music class is a safe place for them – even if they are not musically inclined, or have the desire to be a performer. I think they enjoy music classes because I do my best to make learning fun and exciting (I think music itself does that!) and I would hope that they see me as genuine in my desire for them to learn to use music to glorify God and refresh others. They also see that I make mistakes, and I think that helps them to relax a bit when it comes to “performing” in class.
What is unique about you, your talents, or interests that you bring to the classroom? I think one thing that makes me unique as a music teacher at Dayspring, is that I have taught so many other things through the years besides music! I know what the curriculum is in each of the lower school classrooms and can (and have!) use my music classes to reinforce things that they are learning in history, geography, or literature. Also, ukulele is a relatively new instrument to me and I think that students have seen my passion for it and how it is easy to learn a new instrument at any age, if you are willing to work at it! Besides loving all things musical (worship, singing, playing instruments, musical theater, dancing, etc.) and bringing that to the classroom, I am also fond of reading and studying good literature, researching, journaling, Bible study, prayer, travel, nature, animals, and the beach. Some of those things lend themselves nicely as a living curriculum to the students. I love to learn and I pray that my students catch that love!
What have you seen in your students over the years that has touched your heart the most? I have been so blessed to have had MANY students over the years who love music class! It is very affirming to a teacher when the students show their love of the subject and really care about doing their best with it. I love the relationship that I have with so many of my students and the love we share in Christ. It has also touched my heart to watch so many students grow from little ones to graduates, and still hold fast to the truths they have learned from their Principle Approach education at Dayspring.
At Dayspring Christian Academy, we are committed to raising up the next generation of Christian leaders who acknowledge the Lordship of Jesus Christ in every area of life, demonstrate a biblical worldview, become citizens of excellence in Christian character and scholarship, and aid in the restoration of America’s biblical foundation. If you would like to learn more about Dayspring Christian Academy, please contact Karol Hasting at 717-285-2000 or schedule a private tour using the button below.