Student teacher Lydia Wheatley, a senior tri-captain on the Dartmouth women's hockey team, seamlessly engages each of the six groups of students, offering guidance and answering questions.
It's just the beginning of a typically busy day for Wheatley
Even as the social studies class diagrams, Wheatley
is setting up the next assignment: Group videos detailing what the kids have learned about the Middle East.
"OK, you guys weren't as excited about this project as other ones, so if you have something you'd rather do instead of this video project as our culminating project for this, we can do that," she
is skating on the Big Green's third line, centering junior Danielle Grundy on one wing and freshman Meredith Batcheller on the other.
The trio has just completed a shift early in the game, and Wheatley
is skating back to the bench when a single voice screeches above the thousand or so others:
"GO, MISS WHEATLEY!!!"
..."Lydia is a great person, very personable," Big Green women's hockey coach Mark Hudak says.
parents, Jim and Judy, are retired elementary school teachers who often had Lydia
in tow in the classroom, even on days off. (An older sister, Sunny, also teaches.) Having spent so much time in school settings, either as a student or helping her
parents, Wheatley thought teaching wasn't going to be in her
"I was always with them; who wants to go to school on their day off?But I always did, and I would tutor their (students)," Wheatley
...Wheatley will complete her B.A. in history in the spring.
Finishing the Dartmouth
student teaching program will certify Wheatley
to teach secondary school, which she
expects to do next year at her
old high school back in Michigan.
"The doctor looked at it and told me I tore my ACL," Wheatley
pushed me a lot harder than they were pushing me at the hospital," Wheatley
"Very similar thing happened; someone sort of just fell on it," Wheatley
says."Wasn't dirty or anything like that.
Back to Hammill again -- and this time with the company of teammate Meagan Walton, who would be rehabbing a broken ankle while Wheatley
went back to work on another knee.
"Having players in rehab with you, you kind of bond more," says Walton, who -- like Wheatley
-- had never suffered a serious hockey injury until entering college.
The first knee injury came well past the point that Wheatley
could have claimed a medical redshirt year.
Back in the Richmond School classroom, Wheatley
goes over the directions for the video project.Each group is given the responsibility of determining what aspect of the Middle East it wants to cover in its presentation, with the student teacher's reminder that time is limited.
Knowing there will be uncertainty, Wheatley
e-mail address on the blackboard for her
students -- some of whom will see her
on the ice that evening -- to send their questions.
"Don't get caught up in making it look perfect," advises Wheatley
, who, at 5-foot-4, is smaller than some of her
students."Like I said, I know it's a lot of work.But I know you can do it."
The students can't see the two four-inch surgical scars that run vertically down each of their teacher's knees.But every so often, they can watch Miss Wheatley
-- the left knee healthy, the right knee still in a protective brace -- skate around the Thompson Arena ice and observe the definition of desire.
"She's not at full speed yet," says Hudak, who was active in recruiting Wheatley
four years ago.
instructions to her
students reveal, Wheatley
charges can carry the weight of their assignments.
As current events suggest, Wheatley
can carry her
own weight, too.Again.