Meet Walking Classroom Ambassador Kathleen Butler. Mrs. Butler uses The Walking Classroom with her fifth graders at Spring Valley Elementary in California. She has worked in education for 20 years, and is starting her fourth year with The Walking Classroom.
What are your memories of yourself when you were the age of your students?
I loved school. In fact, I loved everything about it — the teachers, the classroom and being with all of my friends. Fifth grade marked the first time we ever “switched” teachers, and I remember thinking that it was the coolest thing. I felt like one of the “big kids” having different teachers for different subjects.
What led you to become an educator?
When I was younger, I always enjoyed playing school and planning lessons. Hours were spent making worksheets for my younger sister to do. I even loved making bulletin boards and setting up my classroom.
Share your educational philosophy in one to three sentences.
I believe everyone has a right to learn in a way that is best suited for their needs. We have one simple rule: “You can do anything you want as long as it doesn’t cause a problem for anyone else.”
What is your favorite content area/topic to teach? Why?
I love teaching social studies. I find it fascinating that the work done over 200 years ago still frames our country today.
What is your favorite podcast or Walking Classroom memory and why?
How do I pick just one? I think I would have to say The Human Body’s Slimy Shields (Complete-#127, 4-#4, STEM-#29). I love the students reacting to the “gross” facts. They are as disgusted as they are fascinated by it all!
What is your best teaching memory?
Many wonderful memories are associated with this job. I enjoy seeing former students all grown up and then having them go out of their way to say hello. Recently, at my daughters’ basketball game, one of my very first students recognized me and came over. It warms your heart that after 20 years, students still remember you and can recall fond memories.
What advice would you give to a new teacher?
You cannot do it alone. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
I love to spend time with my family, read, and watch the San Francisco Giants play.
Name something you’d like to cross off your bucket list.
I would love to go to a San Francisco Giants World Series game (Come on, boys — make it happen!).
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