How a Childhood Love of Education Led to Teaching at Xceed Preparatory Academy

As a child, Sakina Saunders actively participated in Teachers of Tomorrow during elementary school, and Florida Educators of America when she was a middle school student. Though she thought her interests shifted as she got older – she originally majored in pediatric nursing – the call of the classroom was too strong.

“I was a medical magnet high school student, and I thought I would stay on that path for my career,” Saunders explained. But she realized that pediatric nursing was not her calling, and decided to swap her biology textbooks for English literature. “I had a 10th-grade teacher who allowed us to focus on creative writing, and I never lost that love for ELA.”

Saunders went on to graduate from Florida Atlantic University with a degree in English and a focus on Education. Over the last decade-plus, she has made many strides in her career as an educators such as serving as her former school’s Department Chair of Language Arts and becoming gifted-endorsed.

Now in her 12th year teaching English, Saunders is fitting in seamlessly on the Xceed Coral Springs campus.

Saunders leads her lessons with memories of her experiences in her high school English classroom. The magic of allowing for creativity and independent thinking in learning is what she appreciates about Xceed.

“The classroom should always be interactive and engaging. I consider myself a facilitator – the students also teach me,” Saunders said.

According to Saunders, she enjoys the small group sessions and 1:1 meetings.

“We’re able to dedicate our time to discussion. It’s so rewarding and exciting to hear the students’ thoughts,” she said.

Saunders believes that this holistic approach to teaching extends to teachers as well. “It is very clear to me that Xceed is people-first. As teachers, they recognize we are actually people too—people with families,” Saunders said. “Xceed allows me to be a teacher again, and I’m just so excited to come to work every day.”