Cindy Sweetser is an elementary educator, middle school science teacher, and private tutor who has taught at independent schools in Massachusetts and New York City. Keeping learning joyful is integral to her approach to teaching and learning. Her call to education came from her own experience as a parent of three diverse learners, and years of working with children in a variety of volunteer capacities. In 2010, she earned an MAT from Brown University and began her teaching career. She holds a teaching certificate in Massachusetts for Elementary Education (grades 1-6), History (grades 5-8), and Science (grades 5-8).
Cindy seeks to tap a student’s own natural sense of curiosity. She approaches instruction by getting to know each learner and family. This involves understanding where the student is at this moment in time. Students in upper elementary and middle school travel a journey from concrete to abstract thinking as their bodies transform from child to adolescent, and their relationship focus moves from self to how they fit in the world. It is not a linear journey, and being tuned to the specific child is essential to helping him/her gain the confidence needed to be brave in their learning. Forging a warm relationship allows Cindy to find and leverage each learner’s strengths. Analytical by nature, she uses data to inform instruction, educational technology where helpful, humor to keep it fun, and a toolbox of strategies and resources to support each student in his/her work. There is no “one size fits all” in her approach. Based on her understanding of each student’s needs, she develops an individual learning plan and identifies resources that will be most accessible.
Cindy began her teaching career at the Esperanza Academy of Hope and the Cambridge Friends School. There her students earned medals at state science competitions, and she acquired experience working with EL learners and students with ADHD and dyslexia. A family move to NYC brought her to St. Luke’s School where she served as the science teacher for grades 6, 7 and 8. Cindy believes science is a wonderful entry point for learning, and in her classroom students were challenged to creatively integrate skills as they tackled projects to reveal new understandings of the natural world. This translated to building models, conducting and documenting experiments, and applying the scientific process. While her expertise is in middle school sciences — earth science, biology, chemistry and physics — she taught with an emphasis on building skills to acquire vocabulary, comprehend complex text, communicate orally and in writing, and, to find meaning in data by analyzing, graphing, and applying it. Her goal was readiness for high school.
Cindy’s work experience includes 15 years of senior leadership positions in the technology industry. She has an MBA from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and a BA from Assumption College.
In her free time, she and her husband Arthur of 31 years are enjoying NYC as new empty nesters.