Kathleen Bowman from Manzanita Elementary

Kathleen Bowman teaches fifth grade at Manzanita Elementary. She teaches social studies and one of the math classes.

Student Sarah Rose nominated Bowman because she says her teacher “has ways that really help me and other kids” and “knows how to teach us in a way that we can really understand.”

Sarah Rose is a cancer survivor—she had a brain tumor at age 5. Her mom, Tanya, says that Sarah Rose has some physical and academic limitations resulting from the tumor which sometimes make school hard for her. Tanya praises all the Manzanita teachers.

“The teachers work really hard to be inclusive,” says Tanya, but notes that Bowman went out of her way to understand what her daughter needs.

“We thank her for going the extra mile,” they write.

Bowman is a native Tucsonan who originally thought she would become a pediatrician. But struggles with calculus and the realization that it would “be more fun to be with kids when they’re healthy” led her to switch her career plans. She is happy with the decision to go into teaching.

“I love teaching American history,” says Bowman. She wants students to look at historical events from different perspectives and to become critical thinkers, she says. She adds, “It’s really important to empower them by teaching about regular people.” Bowman hopes this helps students realize that “they have an impact on the world, and it’s up to them to decide what kind of impact they want to make.”

When she is not in the classroom, Bowman likes to sew, read historical fiction and spend time with her four children. She also runs and has completed 15 half marathons and a handful of full marathons.

Bowman has a good time when she is at school, too! She notes that she has fun with her colleagues, and she loves her students. “Fifth-graders have great ideas and great insights, and I love learning from them, she says.

Fun Facts:

A favorite author: Patricia Polacco, whose books Bowman likes to use in class “to teach about life skills.” 
Black Belt: Bowman says her students might be surprised to learn that she has a black belt in tae kwon do.
Following in her footsteps: She is proud of all of her children, Bowman explains, but it is a special point of pride that two of the four are also teachers! “I think it’s pretty cool that they’re teachers, too,” she says.
Edition: 
Tucson
Issue: 
October 2018