Seasoned teachers reflect on their changes, experiences throughout time spent at gunn

Elisa Moraes Liu, News Editor

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Still active, Steve Ames shows off Yoga pose

Yoga and Physical Education (P.E) teacher Steve Ames has been at Gunn since 1994. His journey, however, did notbegin with P.E.: initially, Ames was a mathteacher, teaching courses such as geometry and algebra. Ames transitioned to the P.E. department when he saw an opportunity to become the Athletic Director in 1997. “The athletic director at the time was moving on,” Ames said. “I applied for that position and the principal at the time, Chris Rich, said that if you want to take that position, you have to be a P.E. teacher. That’s when I started working on my P.E. credentials, and eventually tested in and that’s why I ended up here.”

Ames has witnessed many changes in the community. “There’s a lot more concern about student health now,” Ames said. “Students feel a lot more stress so theatmosphere feels different.”

The school has also physically changed since Ames first began teaching at Gunn. “The whole village didn’t even exist when I started,” Ames said. “We only had one gym.” Ames also noted the expansion of other athletic facilities, includingthe pool, tennis courts and baseball fields.

Ames enjoys forming relationships with students. “I like it when they get something they haven’t learned before,” Ames said. “It’s a lot of fun when kids write a thank you note because I didn’t know the impact I’d had. That’s why I like to teach ultimate frisbee because most kids haven’t played frisbee and they become awesome usually by the end of the unit.”

For new teachers, Ames recommends taking it slow. “The best thing is to learn your students and learn thepeople around you,” he said. “A lot of times in the firstyear, you feel like you’re trying to do so much [and] you feel like you have to grade everything, but you don’t. Often, you’re so worried about the curriculum, you don’t worry about the students and the biggest thing is connecting with your students, connecting with the ad- ministration and connecting with your teaching style, because that’s going to be the support that you’re going to need.”