Alumna comes full circle: Covey returns to teach second grade

After 10 years, Country Day is welcoming back one of its own.

Alexis Covey, ’02, has joined the Country Day staff as a second grade teacher replacing Sue Ryan, now the lower-school librarian.

Covey, now 28, was encouraged by her parents Jacqueline DeLu and Michael Covey, who taught at Country Day from 1998 to 2005. DeLu taught life science, and Michael taught chemistry and is currently teaching gardening at Country Day.

Covey attended Skidmore College where she majored in child psychology.

Covey took a part time job working with children in My Gym, a gymnastics and play program for young children, while she attended college.

Covey considered quitting her job to focus on her studies, but realized that this was not what she wanted.

“I realized I loved teaching and nothing was stopping me from doing that,” Covey said.

Covey obtained her teaching credentials from Sacramento State University after working at My Gym and decided to teach at a public school.

Since she attended Country Day, Covey knew students would already get a good education here. However, she felt that the same was not true of public schools and she could better serve children there.

She spent a year as a long-term substitute at Regency Park Elementary School, in Sacramento.

At  public schools it was difficult to make sure all the students had a sufficient grasp of the topic, Covey said. The large class sizes made it impossible for her to give individual attention to students during class time. “It was very frustrating not being able to help the kids there,” Covey said.

On occasion, Covey had to cut in on their art-activity time or when they were playing a math game to help them keep up.

“Students who needed extra help had to miss out on other valuable learning opportunities just to stay afloat,” she said.

Covey says she looks forward to the more “open (SCDS) curriculum.”

“This flexibility makes all the difference in the world,” Covey said.

She says that at public schools if a teacher spends more time trying to develop a skill they fall behind schedule and its difficult to make that time up.

But working at Country Day will be a “big transition,” Covey said. For one, the technology is different. Covey is accustomed to using a Smartboard, a digital, touch-sensitive whiteboard. She’s excited to use the iPad’s that Country Day has introduced to the lower school. “It’s different technology that I haven’t used before but it’s exciting. Plus it looks cool,” Covey said.

Covey describes the faculty as “fun without being unprofessional.” She enjoyed the faculty meeting in August when Patricia Fels, junior English teacher, wore a wig and did a rap to encourage teachers to donate to the school.

“I needed to come back to where my roots are and pursue what makes sense for me,” Covey said.

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