Ms. HygateMeet Ms. Hygate

Terri Hygate believes teaching is a vocation, a calling. And she’s been called to it twice. The first time was in New Zealand where she taught kindergarten, first, and second grade. Then she became a children’s librarian and spent ten years developing collections and programs to promote and advance literacy.

Terri came with her husband to the United States as a “trailing spouse” and could not accept work right away. She became a volunteer with Music For Minors, a non-profit that provides music education for public schools. Being in the classrooms again, Terri felt the calling to teach for the 2nd time. She worked to get her New Zealand teaching credential recognized, and started teaching in Los Gatos. Realizing she wanted to teach with more parental involvement, she began looking and found Stevenson PACT. This is her sixth year with Stevenson PACT.

Field trips, according to Terri Hygate, are vital to teaching social studies. “For every student, seeing a tule reed hut makes much more sense than reading about one. And even more so for our English language learners,” explains Terri. “You have to go out to teach social studies.” For example, on a trip to the Campbell Historical Museum, students barter for goods in a general store, prepare and cleane up afternoon tea, and wash a piece of clothing in a washboard tub and use a line to dry. “That’s how to learn about life 100 years ago.”

Terri genuinely enjoys her class and being a teacher. Ask her to sum up her class and she says three words, “Bright, pleasant and friendly. They’re a great bunch of kids!”