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Karen Smith

U-46 Center Office with support to seven elementary schools

Full Day Kindergarten Teacher Leader

Number of Years Teaching:
30 years as Teacher, 2 years as Teacher Leader

Different Grades that you have taught:
Kindergarten, First, Second and Third grades.

How did you know that you wanted to teach early learners:
I knew I wanted to teach early learners because of my love for this age group and my passion for early literacy instruction. The early childhood years are the most important time periods for literacy development.   The rewards of welcoming children to the world of reading and writing are endless.

What are a few “non-negotiables” of your early learning classroom (kinda your educational philosophy)?:
My educational philosophy builds upon the importance of knowing the children and creating a caring community of learners. I believe that educating the whole child is at the heart of my instruction and founded on developmentally appropriate practice.  It is also important to establish an effective learning environment with clear expectations, routines and procedures for the children to follow.   The classroom is organized with centers and has a balance of teacher directed and child directed activities which promote opportunities for the children to be actively engaged in learning.   Instruction is of high quality with intentionality in planning and purposeful decision making.  I believe that each child should be given a learning experience in which challenging and achievable goals are reached.

What is something that you want us to know about you as a teacher of young children?:
I love working with children; especially kindergartners.  I have fallen in love with their honesty, curiosity and excitement for learning.  Every day is an experience of new learning filled with delight and discovery.  I have enthusiastically embraced teaching five and six year olds.  I am currently a teacher leader for the full day kindergarten program in U-46.  It is with great privilege that I can collaborate and have purposeful conversations with teachers, model effective practices, provide resources, and work together to understand   standards and plan curriculum for student success.

Anything else you would like your viewers to know?:
I LOVE my work with young children and their teachers!