Ms. Tori Sato

Email: vssato@mpsaz.org
Phone: 480-472-7712

Biography

Sato Family Hello! Welcome to Room 12! This is my second year at Ishikawa and I am elated to be a Dragon and on an amazing third grade team!  I am a proud product of Mesa Public Schools, I attended Lehi Elementary, Stapley Jr. High, and Westwood High school.  I graduated from ASU (Elementary Education) in 2016 and spent two great years at Whittier Elementary before coming to the school I've dreamed about teaching at since I was in third grade! 

Ishikawa is near and dear to my heart as Zedo Ishikawa is my granduncle! I am truly honored to serve my community at a school where the history and roots run through my blood. I still remember visiting Ishikawa with my grandmother when I was young and cherish those memories.  

I am the oldest of five children and I love my family dearly! My parents are awesome, my sister Shaley cuts hair like an artsy ninja.  My sister Madi is currently serving on a church mission in Baltimore, Maryland, and my sister Star, a senior, is a stellar volleyball player at Westwood. My brother, Zedo, attends Ishikawa as well and it is so much fun to see him and spend time with him at home and at work!  I truly am living my best life!  When I am not teaching, you can usually catch me coaching girls' volleyball at Westwood, or playing volleyball with friends.  I also love cabin trips, reading, the beach, baking/cooking, playing the ukulele, and fishing!  You may also find a diet "Life's a Peach" from the Soda Shop in my hand, or Thai food in my fridge.

Classroom Management Style

I am a firm believer that every child has the right to a high-quality education.  In room 12, we agree to keep each other's time together productive, safe, and fun by following the following four classroom expectations:

1. Listen to and follow instructions.

2. Raise your hand before speaking or leaving your seat.

3. Keep your hands, feet, things, etc. to yourself.

4. Respect your classmates, your teacher, and yourself.

I consider myself a pretty "chill" person and I believe one of my greatest strengths is staying calm under pressure.  I have never yelled, spoken unkindly to, or disrespected a student no matter the behavior or the number of times it had happened.  I do not believe that respect is something that kids need to earn, nor is it something that can be lost.  Respect is not like trust, or privileges. Every human deserves respect from others, no matter their age. I believe that mutual respect and personal relationships between students and their teacher are key to a successful classroom. Now, to ensure that expectations are followed, I do have a system for keeping students accountable.  I have a flip chart system so students can know at all times where they stand behaviorally during the day. Every student starts on blue every day, no matter the color they ended up on the previous day. The colors are blue, green, yellow, and red and the consequences are as followed:

 Step 1: Warning (flip from blue to green)

In room 12, a warning is a courtesy.  It is quick, private, and hopefully the only reminder needed to get back on track.

Step 2: Timeout (flip from green to yellow)

The timeout is a physical movement as a second reminder that is meant to remove the student from the place where the expectation has been broken.  The timeout place is still in our classroom and learning is not disrupted. The student will need to spend about 15 minutes in the timeout place before they are given the signal to raise their hand to apologize and ask for permission to return to their normal place.

Step 3: Letter home (flip from yellow to red)

I have to say, I can count the letters I've sent home over the past 3 years on one hand. If a student receives a letter home, it will outline the expectations broken, the consequences already given, and will need to be signed and returned the following day.  

Rewards: Students on blue or green at the end of the school day receive a small treat for their efforts of helping our class run smoothly that day.  Students on yellow or red do not receive a treat, however, they get to go and reset their cards back to blue and understand that tomorrow is a new day with a clean slate.

 

Grading Policy

*Only TESTS can be retaken for a better grade. Quizzes are not allowed to be retaken according the Mesa's grading policy. All tests must be retaken before school (see availible days/times below) or during recess. 

If a student (or their parent) does not like their grade on an assessment there are steps they can take to improve it but it will take some help from you and I and some scheduling.  Basically, they need to come to me and ask if we can meet sometime before or after school to do a little reteach tutor session.  I'm available Tuesday-Thursday 7:00-7:25am or during recess if the morning is not an option.  Once they complete a tutor session, they can retake the assessment, though it will probably be different than the first assessment. Tests need to be retaken within 2 school weeks of the first time administered. 
While I do allow retakes and tutor sessions during the year, I also try to emphasize that there will not always be the opportunity to retake tests. If a student truly doesn't understand and needs help with a concept, it is my job and pleasure to help on a one-on-one basis.  If, on the other hand, the student is capable but chose not to read the instructions thoroughly or leave questions unanswered, or made silly (moving-to-fast) mistakes...we will discuss appropriate testing (and all the time) expectations for completing work before the retake. There isn't a make-up for the AZMerit (or whatever it's called now), so I try to make sure to emphasize spending time wisely on tests and not rushing through.

 

Philosophy

I believe, teach, and preach growth mindset in our classroom!  Every single person has the opportunity to change their own life for the better or the worse.  Mistakes are necessary for growth and are so important! Wrong answers should never be looked at as failures, for a wrong answer means that you just learned the wrong way to do something...but you still LEARNED! In room 12, we take risks, fearlessly! Because we choose to listen, we know what is expected and we are able to follow through with instructions confidently. Because we choose to raise our hand before speaking, we are telling each other that we will not talk over one another...and we are telling ourselves, that what we have to say is important enough that everyone should have the chance to hear it! Because we choose to keep our hands, feet, and things to ourselves, we are showing each other that our bodies are important and that no one should have to feel violated or hurt. Because we choose to respect each other, we don't have to worry about taking good risks that all problem solvers take.  And because we choose to respect ourselves, we treat ourselves with patience and kindness in the way we speak, act, and feel.  For if you don't respect yourself, how can you expect others to?

Conclusion

You guys, I love this job.  I love how even though I'm exhausted at the end of EVERY. SINGLE. DAY, I'm glad that have a job that lets me make a difference.  I love that I can be myself and dance terribly, and sing tone-deafly (I know, not a word, but you get it), and give my everything to little people I believe in every day. So thank you, for sharing your littles with me, for trusting me to keep them safe and to make them a little better every day; it is not a trust I take lightly.  It is a heavy responsibility and a lot of the time I feel like I'm barely staying above the water. But I can promise you, I will always do my best, learn from my mistakes (I'm just saying this, because, trust ME, I make plenty of them), and love your kids with all my heart.  

I can't wait to enjoy the adventures we go on together this year! It's far better to be an Ishikawa Dragon, than not to be!

-        Love, Tori