Mark Kalen

1st-5th History/Geography
University of Colorado – Boulder
Bixby School since 1983

I was waiting for an interview at the mental health center on Iris and Broadway (janitorial position–anything to get in the door) when a wild array of students and very happy teachers piled out of the adjoining building, which turned out to be a school (it was Friday afternoon after all)! I followed the teachers back into Ruth Wood School and began volunteering there full-time for next six months. After four years as a special ed. aid, it was time to try my hand at higher education again (early childhood ed. at CU), but I needed at least some part-time work–that’s when a want ad for Bixby preschool surfaced. After a few months of working with an amazing team of preschool teachers and attending weekly staff meetings geared towards teaching strategies and problem-solving, I decided formal education couldn’t touch what I was learning at Bixby. Except for a two-year period working in other schools, I’ve been at Bixby ever since! A big part of the reason I’m still here is that every so often I get to switch up who and what I’m teaching. A grand understatement is that there is always is so much more to learn, which demands that I adopt one of our key aspirations here–to foster a growth-minded attitude…and so here I am still, teacher and student!