Teacher of the Week: Mrs. Zimmerman

Zimmerman%27s+favorite+unit+in+gym+is+racquet+skills.+%22I%27m+amazing+at+anything+with+a+racquet%2C+plus+I+just+like+hitting+things+with++a+racquet..+as+everybody+does%2C%22+she+said.

Zimmerman’s favorite unit in gym is racquet skills. “I’m amazing at anything with a racquet, plus I just like hitting things with a racquet.. as everybody does,” she said.

by Isis Kirkland, Copy Editor

Bonnie Zimmerman is arguably one of the most popular teachers at GRHS. Her humor, and charisma makes her a favorite amongst students. Zimmerman has been working at GRHS for 19 years teaching physical education and health. This week of February 22, 2019, she has been named The Glen Echo’s Teacher of the Week.

Her dream has always been to become a physical education teacher, ever since she was in elementary school. When it was time to go to college she wanted to continue to pursue this dream, but it didn’t end up working out. The colleges she wanted to go to that offered a physical education major were too expensive for her to attend, and the colleges she could afford didn’t have her major. She decided to put her dream to the side and major in accounting.

After getting her degree, graduating and getting into the workforce, she realized that accounting wasn’t really for her. She couldn’t dress like an accountant or sit behind a desk all day, it just wasn’t her thing. So she moved on and became a marketing international business major. “It was exciting at the time but again with everything, life changes and evolves,” Zimmerman said. “And as I had a kid, my life changed again, and that’s when I decided ‘now I can actually do what I wanted to do,’ and I went back to school and got a second degree in physical education.”

Her favorite thing about teaching is how her job differs from day to day, no day is the same. She deals with different personalities in different periods. She also loves the relationships and bonds she forms with students. If she has a student as a freshman, her motto is “I own you for the next four years,” which sounds scary but is really her way of letting kids know that they can trust and confide in her, as she wants to help guide kids through their turbulent teen years.

Zimmerman wants kids to both trust her and pay attention to her, which is why she makes sure to make class fun. “I try to get students engaged in what we are doing, showing the end result and questioning what they know,” she said.

Her most fulfilling moments as a teacher come from when students come back to visit her. Zimmerman loves to see the development of old students when they come in, and she enjoys seeing how much they’ve progressed. “Some come back and say ‘I thank you.’” Showing appreciation for students and seeing where they go from here is very exciting. The exciting part is staying in touch with them,” Zimmerman said.

Zimmerman is well aware, and glad she is a favorite, because it shows the relationships she has with her students, which she tries so hard to develop. Her personability and true concern for her students always shines through. “I care about the students, and hopefully they realize that. I think that trying to get to know each student is really interesting because how talented they are in different areas,” she said. “I like to be apart of the community of the school in terms of showing support for what people do in choir, and in plays, and in theater and in sports also. It’s very exciting to see how diverse we are even though we are the same people.”