I’ve taught at Stevens Elementary since 1990. I taught third grade for five years, fourth grade for five years and fifth grade for six years. From 2000-2006, I was job-sharing with Colby Dresbeck, the most wonderful co-teacher in the world. For a variety of reasons, most financial, we both switched to full-time employment. Colby is at West Woodland and I remain at Stevens.
In 2007 I left the fifth grade and became the physical education teacher. My main goal has been to make PE fun and help kids get healthier. The change has been serving all the grade levels from K to 5th. Hoooo-boy!
I got my basic PE teaching training from friends and from spent a week with Two PE Guys. I was fortunate enough to start my new career just when Seattle was adopting a new PE curriculum. I became one of the pilot teachers for the 5 for Life curriculum and got a more well-rounded approach to physical education. Now I had a way to teach not only games, but content about nutrition and fitness.
I’ve brought many programs to Stevens such as the First Tee golf program from the USGA, Bicycling Basics from Cascade Bike Club, tennis via the US Tennis Association, as well as a Marathon Runner’s club.
My proudest achievement has been to get PE for every child, every day at Stevens. Children need to move to learn. When an opportunity came to increase the number of minutes of PE we provided, I led a charge to make PE a number one priority. We began in the 2010-20-11 school year and haven’t looked back. It is awesome.
In 2012 I returned to half-time employment as I worked toward retirement in 2015. I still enjoyed teaching and getting kids excited about learning and moving, but I was fed up with the mandates from above for testing, testing, testing and the pressures being placed on the kids. I tried subbing for a couple of years, but eventually I was worn down a career which had once been creative and joyful and had devolved into a robotic pursuit of the latest national policy.