A Clover Park School District story.
Our CPSD Staff Spotlight this week features Custer Elementary School kindergarten teacher Gwen Sorem.
Fourteen years ago, Gwen joined Custer as a life skills educator. She transitioned to kindergarten after six years in special education and loves the energy she receives from her young students. “They keep me young,” she said. “They’re always so curious, honest and full of life, and I gravitate to that.”
Gwen knows she’s made a positive impact on her students when she watches them connect with one another and develop their own personalities. “When five- and six-year-olds have a conversation with you and it’s not one-word answers or they tell another student how they made them feel, it’s amazing,” she said.
Gwen knows students tap to the beat of their own drum, and she finds success when she creates a welcoming environment that encourages them to follow that rhythm. “With kindergarten and special education, music, singing and dance are so worthwhile because you can make learning fun, engaging and expressive,” she said.
After class, the music doesn’t stop! Gwen enjoys salsa dancing and spending time listening to music at large family gatherings to continue making meaningful connections with the people in her life.