KATY, Texas — As your Education Station, KHOU is committed to celebrating innovative teachers, including Lauren Kinsler, whose approach to Kindergarten plays more like a Broadway show, and we are here for it.
Watching Kinsler teach at Katy ISD’s Kilpatrick Elementary School is impressive and inspiring.
“It really has put me outside of my comfort zone, but it’s made me be more creative to figure out ways to reach them even though they’re still at home,” Kinsler said.
It’s her second year teaching 5-year-olds. This year, 21 students join her virtually for a two-hour-long lesson each day.
“We’re competing with everything around them,” Kinsler said of possible distractions at each student’s home. But by the looks of her virtual teaching style, which includes hats, feathers and fun, oversized glasses, Kinsler seems to be able to keep her students’ full attention.
“Because we’re doing F. So this is my flamingo hat,” she said as she placed a soft and cozy pink flamingo on top of her head. “When they turn their camera on and they see what I’m dressed up as, their whole faces light up.”
Kilpatrick Elementary School parents are grateful. One mom messaged: "Thank you for making learning so fun for all of us. You make something so hard (teaching kindergarteners virtually) look and feel effortless."
Another parent wrote, "Even my older child is glued to your Zoom class. I am so blessed that we have such a dedicated and determined teacher."
“It’s challenging to come up with different ways to keep them looking at the screen, so hearing that it’s working, from the parent’s point of view, really keeps me going,” Kinsler said.
As Katy ISD approaches the second month of virtual learning, Kinsler’s approach is beginning to feel like an old hat.
“In Kindergarten, we call it the Broadway show. We’re, like, 'OK, go break a leg!'”