A CON­VER­SA­TION WITH... mrs. kath­leen hazen

In this Rais­ing Yuma Fam­i­lies Spot­light... we meet Mrs. Kath­leen Hazen, a sec­ond-grade teacher at Alice Byrne Ele­men­tary School.

Yuma Sun - Raising Yuma Families - - WHAT’S INSIDE... -

How did you be­come a teacher in Yuma?

I grew up on the beau­ti­ful shores of Cape Cod, along the Mary­land coast­line. Later, I at­tended col­lege in Boston, and there

I met my fu­ture hus­band, who just so hap­pened to be an Ari­zona Wild­cat alum­nae! He coaxed me to come visit Ari­zona, by first in­tro­duc­ing me to Sierra Vista, where we lived for sev­eral years and I taught at Nova School (I later learned, it was started by a woman from Cape Cod!!)

When my hus­band was granted a trans­fer, we moved to Yuma. I will never for­get that drive! We were re­ally mov­ing to the desert...no grass, no trees, no peo­ple out and about in Au­gust! What was I think­ing!? Mov­ing to Yuma in Au­gust was like vis­it­ing a ghost town! Luck­ily, we moved into the Alice Byrne neigh­bor­hood, where we quickly be­came friends with many won­der­ful fam­i­lies! I first taught in the Crane Dis­trict and loved the fam­ily at­mos­phere, work­ing un­der the su­per­vi­sion of Dan Bran­non, Lynn Thomp­son and Helen Cof­feen, As my two young boys were grow­ing older, I thought it might be wise to teach in my own school neigh­bor­hood so they could be­friend their peers. Thanks to Juli Peach, who hired me to teach at Alice Byrne back in 2002, I have been teach­ing at Alice Byrne ever since, and lov­ing ev­ery mo­ment!

What is a typ­i­cal day like for you?

As an ele­men­tary school teacher, no day is very typ­i­cal! You can have the best planned day, but what ac­tu­ally hap­pens can change at any mo­ment! Teach­ers con­stantly ad­just their les­son plans to ac­com­mo­date our stu­dents’ vary­ing needs! I rise ev­ery morn­ing to walk 3-6 miles with my hus­band, Tom, who walks a min­i­mum of 6+ miles a day for ACS. I am a can­cer sur­vivor and sup­port his ef­forts of walk­ing to raise money for the Amer­i­can Can­cer So­ci­ety.

When I ar­rive at school, I look for­ward to open­ing my class­room door for my stu­dents, as well as many for­mer stu­dents who come by for a visit, to share a story, help out with a chore, or to re­ceive a hug. A lit­tle morn­ing boost can go a long way! Through­out my day, I am com­pletely fo­cused on mo­ti­vat­ing my stu­dents to be the best they can be, de­liv­er­ing en­gag­ing rig­or­ous lessons, and help­ing my stu­dents to reach their goals. Af­ter work, I en­joy a quick dip in the pool and a quiet din­ner with my hus­band, shar­ing tales of our day’s en­coun­ters. We also en­joy eat­ing out, go­ing to the movies, and par­tic­i­pat­ing in all the great out­door events that Yuma has to of­fer!

What do you love most about your job?

There are so many things that I love about my job! First of all, I love be­ing that per­son whom my stu­dents first see in the morn­ing and to make a pos­i­tive im­pact on their day! I want to greet each stu­dent with a high five and wel­com­ing hug, to re­as­sure them that we will have a great day of learn­ing to­gether! At the end of each day, I love hear­ing my stu­dents’ re­flec­tions on the day: What worked well to­day? What can we do bet­ter to­mor­row? I feel hon­ored and priv­i­leged to be work­ing with such ded­i­cated col­leagues that cre­ate such a pos­i­tive work­place en­vi­ron­ment at my school! We value the as­pect that we, as a team, are striv­ing for stu­dent achieve­ment. We rely on each other to share strate­gies, ideas, and re­sources to strengthen our com­mit­ment to im­prove the lives of our stu­dents. What do I love most about my job…..my stu­dents and my col­leagues! They en­rich my life and in­spire me to be a bet­ter per­son in so many ways!

If you could give any ad­vice to par­ents, what would it be?

My ad­vice to par­ents is to spend qual­ity time with your chil­dren.

Put down your cell phones and iPads. Live in the present! Be en­gaged! Have con­ver­sa­tions with your chil­dren. Talk about their day. Ask spe­cific ques­tions about what they learned at school to­day. Who did they play with at re­cess? What story did they read at school? Ask them to give you a thumbs up and a thumbs down about their day. Read with your child ev­ery night. Be in­volved!

Where is your fa­vorite place to be?

This is a tough ques­tion to an­swer! I grew up by the ocean, which I ab­so­lutely love! My hus­band and I love to travel, and to­gether we have seen some amaz­ing places in­clud­ing 48 U.S. states, 16 states through­out Mex­ico; 32 coun­ties of Ire­land, Gu­atemala, Canada, Eng­land, Scot­land, Wales; and Spain. But no mat­ter where we travel, my heart is with my fam­ily! I am just as happy sit­ting with my fam­ily in my back­yard in Yuma, Ariz., as I am in trav­el­ing the globe! What is im­por­tant to me is that my fam­ily is #1.

So I guess my fa­vorite place is any place sur­rounded by fam­ily! I also love spend­ing time with my ex­tended fam­ily on Cape Cod each sum­mer! The place is not as im­por­tant as the peo­ple you are with! Make ev­ery mo­ment count!

Tell read­ers some­thing about your­self no one would have guessed.

Who would have ever guessed that I used to be a bouncer, dressed as a lep­rechaun, at an Ir­ish Pub on Cape Cod?! At 5 foot two, eyes of blue, who would reckon with me?! Well, I stood tall, checked ID’s, told them where to park…or where to go!! Some of those lead­er­ship skills still stick with me to­day, but in a more mod­er­ate form!

What are your pas­sions or hob­bies?

Over­all, my pas­sion is to live a good life, to make a pos­i­tive dif­fer­ence on those whom I come in con­tact with, and to see the best in oth­ers. We need to make a pos­i­tive im­pact while we still can! Smile, com­pli­ment oth­ers on their good deeds, lend a help­ing hand, ask how you can help...reach out to oth­ers who may not be as for­tu­nate as you are! Make a dif­fer­ence in some­one’s life! If you do this, you will have made a pos­i­tive dif­fer­ence in the world to­day! We can im­prove life, one step at a time!

What are your fa­vorite foods?

Grow­ing up on Cape Cod, you would think that my fa­vorite foods were seafood, right? Well, my dad, was a lob­ster­man, clam and scal­lop man... all by hobby. What a lucky daugh­ter was I? Ha! When­ever I smelt that but­ter melt­ing in the kitchen, I knew that I needed to make a peanut but­ter sand­wich, as seafood was not my fa­vorite grow­ing up!! As I moved away from Cape Cod, I ap­pre­ci­ated good fresh seafood more than ever, and I look back on those days of fresh lob­sters, clams, and scal­lops... can’t find those in many places in Yuma!

Moral of the story: Love the lo­cal foods wher­ever you are! I have learned to love and ap­pre­ci­ate good Mex­i­can food here in Yuma...they don’t know how to serve that on Cape Cod...but they keep try­ing!

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.