Kris' teaching style is energetic, fun and flexible, allowing her to create meaningful and relevant learning experiences for each of her students. She has a knack for capturing her students' attention and motivation by teaching traditional subjects and skills in exciting and creative ways. At Aspire Academy, you will find her in the classroom delivering small group or one-on-one instruction, or exploring all there is to teach and learn outside.
We asked Kris 5 questions so that you could get to know her better:
1. Tell us about your teaching background.
I've had a wonderful teaching career so far. My first 5 years were spent as a Classroom Teacher and Special Education Resource Teacher in a Kashechewn First Nation. From there, I moved to Manitoulin Island and taught in an Elementary School for 8 years. During this time, I had the opportunity to support students in the classroom, teach in a behavioural needs classroom and implement a specialized reading program. I was exposed to Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) and became very interested in learning more. So much so, that I began working in an Intensive Behavioural Intervention (IBI) clinic and returned to school to pursue a Masters degree in the field. I'm thrilled to now bring my love for teaching children in groups and my passion for ABA together in my role at Aspire Academy.
5. What's the most important lesson you've learned so far?
2. What excites you most about Aspire Academy?
I'm excited that Aspire Academy is offering a program that is intentionally designed to meet the individual needs of each student, while giving them the opportunity to explore and learn as part of a group. I love watching the students interact with each other and start to develop friendships! I'm also really excited about our amazing outdoor space. Getting fresh air and physical activity every day is so beneficial for kids. It's amazing that we are able to give our students opportunities for this every day and I am looking forward to engaging our students in different activities throughout the seasons.
3. Which subjects are your favourite to teach?
I love teaching students math and literacy; two skill areas that are essential for independence. I firmly believe that every student can learn math and literacy skills if they are taught in a way that matches their learning style. One of my favourite parts of teaching is getting creative and figuring out how to teach these skills to each of my students.
4. How do you keep your students motivated?
In my experience, the most important thing I can do to keep my students motivated is to take time to really connect with each of them. Getting to know what they enjoy, then incorporating their interests into my teaching, helps me develop an excellent rapport with the students and makes learning more fun!
I've learned a lot of important lessons in my career so far! The first one that pops into my mind came from an amazing principal that I worked with. He taught me that most things don't need to be solved right away, and that it's okay to take some time to think things through in order to come up with the best next step. Another lesson that I've learned (and love!) is to focus on what you want, rather than what you don't want. Choosing positive language, (like "walk please" instead of "don't run") can make a big difference!