Professional

Karin Thompson

I grew up in Southern California and Colorado as the middle child of five.  I came to live in the Seattle area in 2013, after following my heart to live closer to my niece, who is 6. I have lived in Auburn, West Seattle, and am now living in Issaquah. During the week, I am a third-grade teacher at a private school in Medina, Washington; during the weekend, I am exploring this great city or soaking up a book at a local coffee shop with my dog by my feet. I have fallen in love with the Pacific Northwest, where I enjoy hiking, camping, and playing in the water with my dog, a 5-year-old Border Collie mix.Thompson_K

Interest and Experience in Education

I have been working with children since I was a young teenager. After graduating high school, I obtained my first job working at a preschool with children aged 1 1/2 to 5 years old. Over the next seven years, I continued working at preschools and with young children, paying my way through college.

I graduated from California State University, Chico, in 2007 with a Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies. I moved to the Denver area in 2008, where I worked at a charter school in rural Aurora, Colorado for five years. After working as the Instructional Assistant with Kindergarten through 5th grade, and doing substitute work in their elementary and middle school classes, I was hired as the fourth grade teacher. I coached middle school girls soccer and a third through fifth grade running program called Girls on the Run. In 2013, after four years of teaching, I moved to Seattle, Washington, where I started working as a Pre-Kindergarten teacher at Bright Horizons. In 2014, I landed back in the elementary school realm when I started a job as an Instructional Assistant at a private school in Medina, Washington. The following year, I was hired as their new third grade teacher. My teaching team and I are currently in the process this year of creating a new social studies curriculum for the third grade.

I am seeking an endorsement in Elementary Education, and prefer to continue working with the upper-elementary grades of third through fifth.

Expected outcomes are expressed as program standards, which are aligned with State-designated teacher preparation approval criteria shown in WAC 181-78A-270. Program standards include criteria (e.g. 1.), elements (e.g. 1.1), and examples. Any level of the program standard is appropriate for reflection, feedback, or evaluation.

1. ExpectationsThe teacher communicates high expectations for student learning.

1.1 Demonstrating Knowledge of Content and Pedagogy

E.g. Teacher recognizes the value of understanding students’ interests and cultural heritage and displays this knowledge for groups of students.

1.2 Communicating with Students

Teacher’s explanation of content is appropriate and connects with students’ knowledge and experience.

1.3 Engaging Students in Learning

The lesson has a clearly defined structure around which the activities are organized. Pacing of the lesson is generally appropriate.

2. Instruction – The teacher uses research-based instructional practices to meet the needs of all students.

2.1 Using Questioning and Discussion Techniques

Most of the teacher’s questions are of high quality. Adequate time is provided for students to respond.

2.2 Engaging Students in Learning

Most activities and assignments are appropriate to students, and almost all students are cognitively engaged in exploring content.

2.3 Reflecting on Teaching

Teacher makes an accurate assessment of a lesson’s effectiveness and the extent to which it achieved its instructional outcomes and can cite general references to support the judgment.

  1. Differentiation – The teacher acquires and uses specific knowledge about students’ cultural, individual intellectual and social development and uses that knowledge to adjust their practice by employing strategies that advance student learning.

3.1 Demonstrating Knowledge of Students

Teacher recognizes the value of understanding students’ skills, knowledge, and language proficiency and displays this knowledge for groups of – students.

3.2 Demonstrating Flexibility and Responsiveness in Lesson Adjustments

Teacher makes a minor adjustment to a lesson, and the adjustment occurs smoothly.

3.3 Demonstrating Flexibility and Responsiveness in Persisting to Support Students

Teacher persists in seeking approaches for students who have difficulty learning, drawing on a broad repertoire of strategies.

  1. Content Knowledge – The teacher uses content area knowledge, learning standards, appropriate pedagogy and resources to design and deliver curricula and instruction to impact student learning.

4.1 Demonstrating Knowledge of Content and Pedagogy

Teacher’s plans and practice reflect familiarity with a wide range of effective pedagogical approaches in the discipline.

4.2 Setting Instructional Outcomes

All the instructional outcomes are clear, written in the form of student learning. Most suggest viable methods of assessment.

4.3 Designing Coherent Instruction in the area of Learning Activities

All of the learning activities are suitable to students or to the instructional outcomes, and most represent significant cognitive challenge, with some differentiation for different groups of students.

4.4 Designing Coherent Instruction in the area of Lesson and Unit Structure

The lesson or unit has a clearly defined structure around which activities are organized. Progression of activities is even, with reasonable time allocations.

5. Learning Environment – The teacher fosters and manages a safe and inclusive learning environment that takes into account: physical, emotional and intellectual well-being.

5.1 Creating an Environment of Respect and Rapport

Teacher-student interactions are friendly and demonstrate general caring and respect. Such interactions are appropriate to the age and cultures of the students. Students exhibit respect for the teacher.

5.2 Managing Classroom Procedures through Transitions

Transitions occur smoothly, with little loss of instructional time.

5.3 Managing Classroom Procedures through Performance of Noninstructional Duties

Efficient systems for performing noninstructional duties are in place, resulting in minimal loss of instructional time.

5.4 Managing Student Behavior by Establishing Expectations

Standards of conduct are clear to all students.

5.5 Managing Student Behavior by Monitoring

Teacher is alert to student behavior at all times.

6. Assessment – The teacher uses multiple data elements (both formative and summative) to plan, inform and adjust instruction and evaluate student learning.

6.1 Designing Student Assessments around Criteria and Standards

Assessment criteria and standards are clear.

6.2 Designing Student Assessments with an Emphasis on Formative Assessment

Teacher has a well-developed strategy to using formative assessment and has designed particular approaches to be used.

6.3 Designing Student Assessments to Inform Planning

Teacher plans to use assessment results to plan for future instruction for groups of students.

6.4 Using Assessment to Provide Feedback to Students

Teacher’s feedback to students is timely and of consistently high quality.

7. Families and Community – The teacher communicates and collaborates with students, families and all educational stakeholders in an ethical and professional manner to promote student learning.

7.1 Communicating with Families

Teacher communicates with families about students’ progress on a regular basis, respecting cultural norms, and is available as needed to respond to family concerns.

  1. Professional Practice – The teacher participates collaboratively in the educational community to improve instruction, advance the knowledge and practice of teaching as a profession, and ultimately impact student learning.

8.1 Participating in a Professional Community

Relationships with colleagues are characterized by mutual support and cooperation.

8.2 Growing and Developing Professionally

Teacher welcomes feedback from colleagues when made by supervisors or when opportunities arise through professional collaboration.