From healing wounds to shaping minds

FACSE+and+AP+psychology+instructor+Kristin+Deven+is+starting+her+first+full+year+at+Terrace.

© HAWKEYE Kristin Deven

FACSE and AP psychology instructor Kristin Deven is starting her first full year at Terrace.

By Ritika Khanal, Co-Editor-In-Chief

Kristin Deven wanted to be a nurse. At least, she thought she did.

“So, Kristin, what do you want to do when you grow up?” people would ask.

From the age of seven, she had the same answer.

“I want to go into nursing,” she would say without a moment’s hesitation.

After high school, she stayed true to her word, attending Skagit Valley College under a pre-nursing major. However, as she prepared to commit to a nursing career, she ran into an issue.

“I spent my freshman and sophomore years taking nursing courses, and I had one more course left. It was the springtime of my second year of college and I decided that I didn’t want to go into nursing,” Deven said. “I didn’t know what I wanted to do, but one thing I did know is that I love helping people and working with others.”

This realization came during the last quarter before Deven would need to sign up for her major, and she panicked. Scrambling to research her next path in life, she explored all her options and took one career test after another. In the process, a theme kept coming up that she could not ignore: family consumer sciences.

Though Deven didn’t realize it at the time, she had subconsciously been preparing herself for this pathway for years. During her time in high school, she took every social science class her school offered and loved every second of it.

“Even when I was in high school, I took a lot of family science classes, and I loved health, nutrition and sports medicine,” she said. “The subjects just came easy to me and I just had a lot of passion for those subjects in family consumer sciences. I thought nursing was my calling, but looking back, I guess I’ve always been passionate about consumer sciences, and I didn’t even know it.”

Consumer sciences consist of a wide variety of topics, including child development, health, relationships, family sociology, fashion design and culinary skills. Delighted with the diversity offered by this pathway, Deven decided she was in.

As she researched, she found that Washington State University (WSU) was the top school for family sciences, so that’s where she decided to go. The following fall, she began classes at WSU, and she fell in love.

Despite the fact that her uncles and aunts on both sides of her family were all teachers, Deven had never thought she wanted to be a teacher. However, as she went through her classes at WSU, she realized that teaching would allow her to help people every day, just like she wanted to do all along.

“In the grand scheme of things, it [teaching] didn’t seem like something I would do right away, but once I realized my goal of helping people and working with others, and since I have always loved health and nutrition, it makes sense why I switched to consumer sciences and teaching,” she said. “With teaching, you get one-on-one relationships with students, and it feels like you get to make a difference every day, which was what was important to me.”

Deven’s last year of college was spent teaching at Lake Stevens High School. While some of her friends panicked and regretted the choices they had made, she realized she couldn’t have chosen better.

“Teaching there really solidified that I made the right career choice. My friends were thinking, holy cat what did I get into, and I was loving every day,” she said.

However, Deven and her teaching career were in for a surprise. In March of 2020, all schools shut down as a result of COVID-19, and Deven’s student teaching was cut short. With the future uncertain, not many schools were hiring, and she didn’t think she would be able to find a job.

Luckily for Deven, MTHS needed a teacher with the skills she had worked so hard to obtain. With social sciences teacher Kimberley Nelson out on medical leave, Deven was hired to take her place, and while that presented challenges, Deven began her first year of teaching in an environment like no other.

“I got hired at the end of September and started teaching October first,” she said. “I had no prior experience with Zoom or teaching online. all the experiences I gained as a student teacher were in-person.”

With Nelson out for the year, Deven didn’t have anyone to fall back on. She taught three chef classes, a period of child development and a period of personal finance. Though she found it to be a challenging experience, she said the students made it worthwhile.

“I had the best students last year, and they really made that first year okay,” she said. “They were so sweet and always willing to participate, which was appreciated.”

This year, Deven will return to MTHS to teach AP psychology, chef one and relationships. Relationships and chef one are semester-long classes, while AP psychology is a year-long class.

Having experienced teaching online for her first year, Deven is a little nervous to teach in-person. However, she feels like her experience as a student teacher and the experience she gained through teaching last year have both prepared her.

“I am a planner,” she said. “I like to know what I’m doing, and so many things were constantly thrown at us last year that I learned to just go with the flow and figure it out as I go.”

Teaching over Zoom, she felt like she didn’t get much practice with classroom management. Thankfully, her time as a student teacher helped with that.

“Student teaching is really what prepared me for classroom management,” she said. “That is one of the biggest struggles as a new teacher. You just can’t teach someone how to run a class, and I felt more confident in how I wanted the classroom to be run while I was student teaching.”

Deven strives to always be completely honest and transparent with her students, and wants them to know that she will always be there for them whenever they need anything. Her goal is to foster a positive and inclusive classroom environment.

“My students can come to me for anything at any time and I will be there to help the best I can,” she said.

While Deven is extremely passionate about helping people and teaching, she also loves to cook, bake, golf, hike and spend time with her new labrador, Ollie. During the summer of 2021, she moved into a new apartment with her best friend Jessica and kept herself busy by training Ollie.

Deven’s family members love her baking more than anyone, as she has started a tradition of making delectable cakes for them on their birthdays.

“I started this accidental tradition that started with my dad last year. I started making pretty homemade cakes for family members for their birthdays,” she said. “Some were pretty simple like my dad’s, who just wanted a carrot cake. But my cousin’s friend wanted a peanut butter and chocolate cupcake. It’s just fun to make them look pretty and nice.”

She loves all sorts of foods, and especially enjoys making Japanese and Italian foods. However, her absolute favorite is anything Mexican.

“Any sort of Mexican food is the way to my heart,” she said.

One day, Deven hopes to become an administrator. For now, she is super excited to help students every day and teach subjects that she loves.

“Everything I get to teach directly connects back to my students’ lives, and I am so excited to get to be at Terrace and to get started with my first real year of teaching,” she said.