Sarah Goffman

Sarah Goffman

Educational Philosophy

The following tenets are prevalent in every class Sarah teaches:

-Above all, independent thought and creativity are sacred. Her job as an English teacher is to push you to develop your own ideas and opinions and to express them fearlessly and artfully.

-Your writing is your own. Every sentence, every word you put down on the page should be an original, deliberate choice that expresses your own original, deliberate thoughts.

-Great literature teaches us what it means to be human, in all its beauty, ugliness, triumphs and failures.

-Literary analysis is a universally applicable skill because it requires us to look critically at the way meaning is constructed. In the media-saturated world we live in today, no skill is more vital in order to navigate life as an informed, independent-thinking adult.

-Our abilities to read and write well are like physical muscles: the get stronger with use and atrophy without it. You will read and write everyday in Sarah’s class. Be warned.


Sarah teaches ELA and Literacy Foundations classes. All of her classes combine literary analysis, creative and critical writing to help you become better readers, writers and thinkers.


Sarah grew up in suburban New Jersey, just over the George Washington Bridge, the daughter of an English teacher and linguistics professor.  Writing, reading and teaching were integral parts of her daily life from the beginning, whether she was filling up journals with poetry or helping her parents grade papers. She attended the local public schools, where rote memorization, test taking and organization were valued; these were not skills Sarah possessed. She often got in trouble for writing poetry in math class or criticizing the patriarchal nature of her history textbook. If it hadn’t been for one incredible English teacher, Ms. White, whose energy and love of beautiful language was completely infectious, Sarah would have been miserable. But most importantly, Ms. White believed in Sarah and gave her the confidence to pursue her writing, endure high school and eventually get accepted to Bard College. It’s Sarah’s goal to inspire, challenge and advocate for her students just as Mrs. White did for her so many years ago.

At Bard, Sarah studied creative writing and literature with some amazing professors and incredibly talented and creative fellow students. After graduating, she decided to stay at Bard for another year to get her MAT in English. She student-taught in Red Hook and Kingston, New York, completed two Masters’ theses in literature and education, and set her eyes on teaching in New York City.

In 2005, Sarah moved to Brooklyn and began teaching at NYC Lab School, a specialized public school in Chelsea. She stayed there for four years before leaving to pursue her MFA in Fiction at Hunter College. There, she had the privilege of working closely with some of her favorite writers. It was also at Hunter that she began teaching at the college level—first in the undergraduate English department at Hunter, and then at LaGuardia Community College. Her time there made her think a lot about what gives students the confidence, stamina and academic skills necessary to succeed in college and beyond. Sarah is so excited to bring that experience to City As and to help her students set goals and take ownership of their educations and futures.

Fun Facts

-Sarah has been a teacher in all kinds of capacities outside of the City-As classroom. She’s taught yoga at public schools, community centers and studios, memoir writing at a home for women in crisis, writing and literature at Hunter and LaGuardia Community College, and curriculum development to adult educators.

-Sarah has also: hiked 50 miles through the Montana wilderness, slept in tipis, scuba dived through shipwrecks, swam in the Amazon River, driven down the entire length of the Baja Peninsula, climbed the ruins of Angkor Wat, was chased down a mountain by wild dogs in Thailand, picked stones out of horses hooves, been bitten by a wild parrot in Honduras, snorkeled with dolphins and camped with howler monkeys, but she has never, will never ride a roller coaster.