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In Our Schools, Reading Eagle, 4-16-17

Tri-County In Our Schools: Erin Bumbaugh

Fifth-grade teacher, Pottstown Middle School

In Our Schools is a weekly feature spotlighting teachers and administrators educating students in Tri-County schools.

I grew up in:

Pottstown, until eighth grade when I moved to Souderton.

I now live in:

Pottstown.

Education:

Souderton High School and Millersville University.

How I spend my free time:

I coach soccer in the fall, basketball in the winter and Girls on the Run in the spring. I also love riding bikes and taking my two pitbull puppies for hikes on trails.

Teacher who inspired me:

Up until the third grade, I cried hysterically before school and would need to be peeled off my mom. In third grade at Ringing Rocks, I was lucky to be in Mr. Muehler's class. He had such a fun approach to teaching, especially math. He made many things a competition and made us want to learn. If we beat him in challenges, he'd pay us in actual cash. Being the competitive person I am, I enjoyed this year very much and finally stopped crying before school. My family and I are still in contact with him.

How coaching carries over to the classroom:

I have the mentality that you can achieve more when you work together. Being a "team" is a big focus in my classroom, just as it would be on a sports team. The students know that no matter who they are put with, they need to work past differences in order to complete their task. I enjoy doing team-building activities, as well as group work for certain tasks or games. It brings out the competitiveness, which is entertaining, and also teaches the kids how to win humbly while having class and how to handle a loss maturely.

A funny classroom moment:

I had a student who could find the littlest things to be fascinating. One morning she brought in a few water bottles to show me. Inside those water bottles were different items for one of her self-created "science experiments." Little did I know, she left one on my desk to observe during the day. I ended up taking a sip, realizing it tasted off, watching chewed pieces of gum fall to the bottom and spitting the water out. I now check my water bottles more carefully.

If I weren't an educator, I'd be:

A zoologist. Animals amaze and entertain me in so many ways. I could be completely content working with and staring at animals all day long.

You might not know:

A few years ago, I drove across the country with my sister and her cat. It took us nine states and four days to reach Los Angeles. I plan on doing it again and taking a new and different route.

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