Middle School Math Teacher
Where did you grow up?
I grew up in Brooklyn Center, MN, and attended Orchard Lane Elementary School and North View Junior High School.
What high school did you attend?
I graduated from Park Center High School.
Where did you attend college?
I earned both my Bachelor and Master Degrees from St. Cloud State University. Beyond my Masters Degree, I also took classes at the University of St. Thomas and St. Mary’s University.
Did you always want to be a teacher?
One of my first jobs (15 years old) was instructing little people soccer and T-ball classes for the City of Crystal. Those jobs led to more community education instruction positions. I decided that teaching was my career path of choice.
How many years have you been a teacher?
I have been a teacher for a total of 37 years.
have been teaching in Rockford for 29 years.
What grade(s) or ages have you taught throughout your career?
For the most part of my career, I have taught 3rd through 5th grades, with 4th grade being the predominant grade. For the last 12 years, I have been teaching 6th Grade Math. I have coached a lot of hockey, baseball, and soccer throughout the years with my own children, as well as 15 years of Junior High Baseball here in Rockford. Also included in my coaching was 12 years of golf for the Rockford School District, from Junior High to Varsity.
What do you look most forward to everyday at Rockford?
I really enjoy seeing the expressions and excitement from students showing how proud they are of themselves when they have success. Success may be as big as winning an award or simply solving or learning a new skill. It is fulfilling to see kids feel better about themselves and their abilities.
What is one of your most memorable moments in your career?
I really enjoy when students and former students reach out to express and share kind words and stories. Many times they share things that were said or done that meant a lot to them (even though I may have never even realized it).
What advice would you give a brand new teacher?
Never stop learning. Always try to improve, it will benefit both your teaching and the students’ education.
What will you miss most about teaching in Rockford?
I will miss the awesome experiences with both staff and students, everything from trips to Deep Portage to just everyday happenings at school.
My wife Julie and I have three sons, with our children all living in the Twin Cities metro area.
What are your plans when you retire?
Golfing, traveling, and especially not spending the whole winter in Minnesota.
I really enjoy seeing the expressions and excitement from students showing how proud they are of themselves when they have success. Success may be as big as winning an award or simply solving or learning a new skill.
– Stephen Petroski