Starr Sackstein started her teaching career at Far Rockaway High School in the early 2000s, eager to make a difference. Quickly learning to connect with students, she was able to recognize the most important part of teaching: building relationships. Fostering relationships with students and peers to encourage community growth and a deeper understanding of personal contribution through reflection, she has continued to elevate her students by putting them at the center of the learning.
She is the author of Teaching Mythology Exposed: Helping Teachers Create Visionary Classroom Perspective, Blogging for Educators, Teaching Students to Self-Assess: How Do I Help Students Grow as Learners?, The Power of Questioning: Opening Up the World of Student Inquiry, Hacking Assessment: 10 Ways to Go Gradeless in a Traditional Grades School and Hacking Homework: 10 Strategies That Inspire Learning Outside of the Classroom co-written with Connie Hamilton. Starr has published Peer Feedback in the Classroom: Empower Students to be the Experts with the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD). Sackstein has published From Teacher to Leader: Finding Your Way as a First-Time Leader without Losing Your Mind in 2019 (DBC). In 2020, Sackstein co-authored Hacking Learning Centers in Grades 6-12: Teaching Choice and Providing Small Group Learning Opportunities in Content Rich Classes with Karen Terwilliger which is set to come out in 2021. Sackstein has also contributed to compilation works in 2017 and 2018: Education Write Now edited by Jeff Zoul and Joe Mazza and “What Educators Do Differently” with Routledge. Her most recent contribution is in Ungrading: Foundations, Models, Practices, Reflections which is currently in press for release with the West Virginia University Press in 2020. Assessing with Respect: Everyday Practices that Meet Students’ Social and Emotional Needs (ASCD) will come out in March 2021.
She blogged on Education Week Teacher at “Work in Progress” where she discussed all aspects of being a teacher and education reform for five years ending in 2019. She has made the Bammy Awards finals for Secondary High School Educator in 2014 and for blogging in 2015. At speaking engagements around the world, Starr speaks about blogging, journalism education, bring your own device, and throwing out grades, which was also highlighted in a recent TEDx talk entitled “A Recovering Perfectionist’s Journey to Give up Grades.” In 2016, she was named one of ASCD’s Emerging Leaders.
In recent years, Sackstein has spoken internationally in Canada, Dubai, and South Korea on a variety of topics from assessment reform to technology-enhanced language instruction.
Most recently, Sackstein became Chief Operating Officer at Mastery Portfolio, LLC. Balancing a busy career of writing and educating with being Mom to high schooler Logan is a challenging adventure. Seeing the world through his eyes reminds her why education needs to change for every child.