Mr. Stevens reflects on five years of teaching and shares his hopes for the future


Maddie Kurtovich

Mr. Stevens has a passion for “all things physics.”

Mr. Tanner Stevens, BSM’s physics teacher, will be entering his fifth year of teaching at the school during the 2018-2019 academic year.

I hope if nothing else they just learn to maybe view the world through the lens that I see it in a little bit more often…

— Mr. Stevens

Starting next year, Stevens will be teaching his first year of AP Physics in addition to regular physics classes. “I’m looking forward to it. As a teacher, it’s always nice to mix it up and not do the same thing over and over again. I like that AP will offer that opportunity for college credit for a lot of students,” Stevens said.

Still early in his teaching career, Stevens has found his teaching philosophy. “I want kids to be able to always have a growth mindset…[students] can always learn more and do better at things they do,” Stevens said.

Teaching has been a constant learning experience, and Stevens mentioned a big change for him since he started. “I’ve grown to do more meeting students where they’re at. I used to have more set expectations of things that every student should be able to know, but it’s more important to help foster that growth mindset,” Stevens said.

With his daily enthusiasm for all things physics, it’s difficult to tell which aspect of the physics curriculum is Stevens’s favorite, but there is something he enjoys most. “When I was taking physics in college, the electricity and magnetism stuff was always harder and less intuitive for me, so I didn’t like it as much. But now that I’ve been teaching it, I really enjoy teaching that stuff more than the kinematics stuff. I feel like it lends itself to more unique and interesting real world applications,” Stevens said.

As for student takeaways from his physics classes, Stevens hopes that students learn to continue to think critically. “I hope if nothing else they just learn to maybe view the world through the lens that I see it in a little bit more often just to see the beauty and the amazement of the physics that’s happening every day. If they remember to think critically about how the world is working, that’s what I care about,” Stevens said. 

Although Stevens is upfront and tells students most of the big things in his life on the first day of class, there are a couple of lesser known things about him. “I was a big ultimate frisbee player and I do have this love for bluegrass music that comes out here and there. Two springs ago, I had an issue with my leg and I went into the doctor and they told me I had cancer but it turned out not to be cancer. It was still a scary time to have to go through…I had IV and antibiotics all summer,” Stevens said.