Tammy has been an educator for 35 years. She taught her first year in Highgate, second year in Essex, and the remaining 33 years in Burlington schools. She has worked in all of the Burlington elementary schools except for C.P. Smith. For many of those initial years, there was no full time PE program, so the PE teachers had split schedules and were required to travel between the schools across the district: Champlain, Wheeler, Edmunds Elementary, Barnes, and J. J. Flynn. But for each of those 33 years, Tammy worked at Champlain Elementary School.
Originally each class was only 20 minutes long. She quickly learned how to prepare and teach efficiently for those 20 minutes before switching to the next class, keeping in mind that each transition was not only between different classes but also different grade levels, Kindergarten through fifth grade. It was a relief when the district moved to 30 minute classes and then finally to full time PE teaching positions at a single school which allowed for 45 minute classes.
Kids always fill my bucket. You never know what they will fill it with, but it’s always worth it!Tammy Charbonneau
Words from Tammy:
What I will miss: The kids! The kids! The kids! This is what I do! What will I do without them? Kids always fill my bucket. You never know what they will fill it with, but it’s always worth it!
What I am proudest of: How to answer a question like that! I am proudest of the way the PE program has been able to develop with the help of the kids. Because of their involvement, it’s become their program. Kids can rearrange and create things like new Olympic sports! For instance, with a plastic sled, a pool noodle, and an agreed upon set of rules, they invented “sled jousting”!
Advice to pass on: Teachers – you really have to like kids. Kids are the most valuable resource we have. We must make sure we are providing them with the things and resources they need. And that’s for all kids, across the curriculum, not just in a single classroom.
Future Plans: I hope to spend some time with my Mom, perhaps travel with my Mom. I have to figure out who I am without being a teacher. I’m going to spend as much time as I can on my boat, catching fish. Maybe I’ll go to Florida some day. It’s hard to know what the future looks like.
Words from Colleagues:
Thank you for all you have given to our school! From the Big Change Round Up to birthday lunch bunches, for over thirty years, you have done it all and more with humor, enthusiasm, and joy! Your love for our Champlain students and community has touched so many and will live with us forever! We will miss you very much! Betsy Greene & Colleen Cowell
Tammy is an “I can. We can.” kind of person. If something needs doing, she’s there. In her mind, kids always come first. Champlain will miss the energy, love and joy she brings every day. Betsy Patrick
Tammy has been an invaluable member of the Champlain Elementary School team for over three decades. She has always focused on the students. Whether the student needed sneakers for physical education participation, an accommodation to access the activity or kind words to encourage them, Tammy has always thought about learning and engagement through each student’s perspective. Students will surely miss Tammy’s effervescent personality. Teachers and staff will miss Tammy’s focus on developing systems that created a better school environment for staff and students. “Tammy, continue to live the dream! We’ll miss you to the moon and back! Susan Ames