Celebrating National Teacher Appreciation Week

Battle Ground Public School teachers talk about their chosen profession

Some knew they wanted to be teachers from a very young age. Others were inspired by teachers in their own life, or came to the world of public education as a second career. In this series of videos, just a few of Battle Ground Public Schools’ many rock star educators share how they came to the job, why they keep coming back, obstacles they’ve overcome and successes they’ve experienced, as well as their advice for the next generation of teachers.

Thank you to all of the classroom teachers, specialists, counselors, teacher librarians, occupational therapists, physical therapists, speech language pathologists, school psychologists and teachers on special assignment who have dedicated themselves to educating the next generation. You each make such a difference in students’ lives.

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How did you become a teacher?

“Basically, I would go to kindergarten and then come home and teach my brother everything I had learned.”

For some, like Paula Gunther of Summit View High School, becoming an educator seemed to be a foregone conclusion. For others, like Chief Umtuch Middle School science teacher Chad Harvison, it was a second career and a chance to give something back. In this video, Battle Ground Public Schools teachers tell us what led them to the world of public education.

What do you love most about being a teacher?

“[My students] are the ones who keep me coming back. I love them as if they were my own children.”

Despite the stress of the job, teachers are drawn back year after year. Whether it’s seeing the joy in a student’s eyes as they discover something new, having the chance to be a trusted adult in the lives of children who need it or simply putting something good into the world, Battle Ground Public Schools teachers tell us in this video what keeps them coming back.

What are some obstacles you’ve had to overcome?

“The students who give you the hardest time are often the ones you make the biggest connections with.”

Whether it’s managing new expectations and regulations, learning a new curriculum or figuring out what a student needs in order to break through a barrier, public education comes with its fair share of challenges. In this video, Battle Ground Public Schools educators explain some of the obstacles they’ve had to overcome during their career.

What are some successes you’ve had?

“Getting students to realize they’re bigger than themselves is really cool. And then watching their impact just here on campus … is really rewarding.”

Breakthroughs. Ah-ha moments. Building relationships and earning trust. In this video, Battle Ground Public Schools teachers recall some of their best memories and successes as educators. One even inspired a former student to pursue their own career in public education.

What is your advice for future teachers?

“Don’t give up.”

In this video, current Battle Ground Public School teachers share their best bits of advice for others just starting out in public education or considering a teaching career. “There’s nothing like this,” said Jonas Fridrikkson, a social studies teacher at Battle Ground High School for three decades. “It’s an unbelievable job and it’s super rewarding, and that’s all you could ever ask for.”


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