I grew up in rural New Hampshire and graduated from Syracuse University, in central New York, in 2004 with degrees in Geography and Spanish. I developed a love of working with children through babysitting, lifeguarding, camp counselling, and substitute teaching jobs throughout my teens and early 20s. I moved to Washington after college, lured by tales of the beauty and wonder of the Pacific Northwest, and settled in Olympia. I worked for brief stints as a pizza deliverer, geoduck farmer, and mattress factory employee, and then for six years as a research assistant for the Washington State Institute for Public Policy (WSIPP). WSIPP conducts non-partisan research for the state legislature on topics such as education, criminal justice, and social services. After my eyes were sufficiently damaged from staring at spreadsheets for six years, I decided it was time to get back into teaching and, after a two year masters in teaching program at The Evergreen State College, I ended up here at Tumwater Hill! I'm very excited to be teaching at T.H.E. for a seventh year.
How About Right Now?
Tumwater Hill Elementary School closed on March 13th, 2020, due to fears of spreading COVID-19. This prompted me to think about ways to be present and helpful for students, families, and friends. Because we're supposed to limit contact and gatherings, an online "presence" seemed to make sense, so I revisited this webpage for the first time in 2+ years (Dear families, sorry for the lack of updates...) I don't intend this to be a formal or official teaching page during the school closure. In fact, we will probably be discouraged from formal or official teaching due to equity issues; serving kids who have online access during this time will only worsen the inequality already present in our school system.
But back to being helpful, starting with this very un-updated webpage and its very out-of-date schedule (now deleted). Many people have talked about the importance of keeping a routine during this time. It would be very easy to stop keeping track of, or caring about, time and just play video games all day (Looking at you ___insert 5th grader names here___!) An altered schedule can provide opportunities to mix it up in a fun way. I had a schedule all written out, but realized that everyone's will be different and I, myself, am very unlikely to be that regimented about my time. But I am going to try to establish some daily to-dos to keep me on track. This is a great time to do things that would never get done otherwise.
- Practice bagpipes! Aim for an hour.
- Work on the family photo album.
- Clean something! Start with vacuuming everything, as I'm currently losing my battle with allergies.
- Write one letter to a loved one.
- Write one email to a loved one.
- Back exercises.
- Go outside.
To-dos on the Horizon
- Bike. Try to bike someplace almost everyday (while still socially distancing myself) to reach my goal of 90 bike commuting trips by the end of the school year.
- Scrape rowboat
- Coordinate woodshop workdays with Andrew?
- Think of more things to do...