Getting to know Ms. Bateman


Ms. Bateman is the history teacher for ethnic and cultural study. This is her first-year teaching at Lakes, and I asked her a few questions to get to know her better. And while doing so, being able to talk to her, I concluded that she is a very kind and down-to-earth teacher, and her classroom energy is very welcoming. 

What schools did you attend? 

I grew up in Bothell, WA and attended Bothell High School. After I graduated high school, I went to Pacific Lutheran University where I double majored in History and Women’s and Gender Studies. After college I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do so I took a job with AmeriCorps at Ford Middle School in Parkland. My time with AmeriCorps inspired me to become a teacher so I went back to school for my master’s in teaching at the Evergreen State College (Hilltop Campus). 

How do you feel your life has changed since quarantine started? 

I think quarantine has changed my life in a couple of ways. For teaching it has made me look at how schools can do better to meet the needs of students, especially with technology. In the district I worked in before CPSD I became a technology leader and helped teach students and teachers how to use different kinds of technology so we could be successful during hybrid learning. I created a lot of instructional videos for how to use Google Classroom, Screencastify, and other apps. I think my videos are still on their district website! 

Personally, quarantine made me appreciate the time I get to spend with my family. My family is spread out around various states, and with travel restrictions during the pandemic I haven’t been able to see them face to face a lot these past two years. When I was able to see them for the holidays, I tried to be better about being present at the moment. 

Where were the 2 other places you taught? 

My first teaching job was in Buckland, Alaska at a K-12 public school for three years. Buckland is a tiny Alaskan Native village up in the Arctic Circle. I taught Social Studies, English, Art, and PE. It was really fun to teach up there and learn the culture, but the winters were too cold for me! 

After teaching in Alaska, I moved to Goldendale, WA, which is a small town in Central Washington. I taught Social Studies and English at the high school and the middle school for four years. I was also the high school Yearbook Advisor, which was a lot of fun. I came to Lakes from Goldendale because I wanted to move back to the Puget Sound area. 

How do you plan on changing ethnic and cultural studies for next year? 

Ethnic and Cultural Studies is new to CPSD this year, which means not only is it new for students, but it is also new to teachers. Ms. Rock and I have been learning as we go, which has definitely been hard as we are teaching it at the same time. My hope for next year is we use student feedback to make the class even better. We want the class to be student-focused and cover the topics and issues students care about. 

 Why do you think it’s important we learn these things? (Ethnic and cultural studies) 

I think Ethnic and Cultural Studies is important for schools to add to the electives they offer for students. The course is designed to explore the experiences and history of diverse people groups in the United States.  By studying the histories of race, ethnicity, nationality, and culture, students will cultivate respect and empathy for individuals and solidarity with groups of people locally, nationally, and globally to foster active social engagement and community building. 

I think it is important for students to not only have the opportunity to learn about these topics, but to also be able to do so in a way that gives students a safe space to discuss them with others. We know students have social issues they care about and want to learn about. Ethnic Studies can give students the opportunity to explore those issues on a deeper level and even teach others about them. 

 Was there anything else you wanted to be before deciding a teacher? 

Honestly, for a long time I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with my life. I was one of those students who graduated high school knowing I wanted to go to college but that was about it. After college I was interested in a couple of different careers. I really enjoy archival work and looked into working at a museum or library. I also looked into non-profit work because I enjoy helping others and making our community a better place. My sister and I have always talked about opening a doggie daycare someday, so who knows. Maybe that will be my next career! 

My advice to anyone who isn’t sure what they want to do in life is to try new things. You don’t have to have it figured out now, or even as an adult. Growing and learning is a lifelong process. Take classes that sound interesting to you. Volunteer or job shadow with organizations and people you want to be around. Travel and learn about new cultures. Eventually you will learn what skills you excel at, what you enjoy to do, and where you want to go in life.