A Dialogue with Dr. Sweatlock

This is Dr. Sarah Sweatlock's tenth year at Vistamar! She is a leader in the community and inspires everyone with her love of all things MATH.
What is your favorite class to teach and why? 
I love to teach Math 2. There's something magical about having a few sophomores who know the ropes, and a large group of new freshmen trying to figure out VistaMath. I love watching their excitement for mathematics build, and the joy they feel when they discover something new all on their own. Teaching Math 2 is an opportunity to watch computers (i.e., people who can compute mathematics) become mathematicians (i.e., people who can do mathematics) and that growth is my favorite part of teaching.

When thinking about your ten years teaching at Vistamar do any specific stories to mind? 
I love the energy in the school on the day of the CAML (California Mathematics Evaluation). The story we're told about math is that it's this awful thing to be feared, but on CAML days we have almost the entire student body voluntarily taking a math test. And for days afterwards, students are talking about the problems, asking about solution strategies, and engaging deeply with their teachers, each other, and mathematics. It's wonderful.

Do you have a favorite Vistamar "moment"? Something that feels like it sums up your experience here?  
Is it too cheesy to say "tomorrow"? After 10 years here, I'm continually impressed by my students and colleagues, and we're always finding new ways to be awesome. 
 
Generally, though, I love Morning Meeting. One of my favorites was Rowan Cullen's piece about the importance of dialogue with people you disagree with, and when he and Sabrina C. '19 spoke together about respectful disagreements before Ted Lieu came to campus. 
 
Going way back, Dayvid Sherman's performances at Morning Meeting were legendary, as were Sophie Nau and Hannah Anderson's duets. And I still remembering tearing up when former music teacher Chris Kent sang a song about when New Hampshire's Old Man in the Mountain fell down.
 
This year, I think Alexander DG's morning reading, as well as Antonio C.'s, stand out (both '19). 
 
Do you have advice for prospective students? If so, what would you say? 
Be vulnerable. High school is always a series of mistakes, embarrassing moments, and awkward situations, punctuated by moments of sheer brilliance and growth. This community is full of people who will help you, but it's on you to be open to that help.
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Vistamar School is a private independent high school in the South Bay region of Los Angeles
Vistamar School  |  737 Hawaii Street, El Segundo, CA 90245  |  T: 310.643.7377  |  F: 310.643.7371