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As a 4th Grade Teacher Karen Krupnick was an excellent teacher who always brought something of herself into the classroom. Her passion for teaching transferred itself to her students and, as a former student myself, know she changed the lives of her students. Learn how you can bring yourself into your career in Episode 50 of the Defining Success Podcast!
Karen Krupnick was my 4th grade elementary teacher. Karen Krupnick has been a teacher for 40 years and has taught over 1,200 students, including myself. She fostered the creativity of her students by teaching lessons that were outside of the box.
Karen had no idea she was going to be an educator. She graduated college as a French teacher and it took a while before she made a decision to become a teacher. A friend of Karen’s began teaching preschool and Karen decided to give it a try.
Teaching has changed completely from 40 years ago. When she first started, there was a lot of experimentation in the classroom. It was a time when you tried new things and when she left teaching it became a test-oriented environment.
State standards have changed the classroom many times over. The new common core is looking to change the way teaching is done. The one thing Karen enjoyed about teaching was that she was able to bring something of herself into the classroom (bring yourself into your career) and could teach her classroom in creative ways and now that is definitely not encouraged.
When Karen went into teaching most teachers said they went into education because they could share their passion with their students.
One of the most valuable things Karen learned about teaching was the never-ending progression of students. Because of their different gifts, Karen came to appreciate people in a whole different way. She found the uniqueness of the human being to be very interesting.
Karen loved teaching math and she learned many things she could bring to her students and she loved doing integrated units and bringing all subjects into these units.
The Iditarod is a sled-dog race in Alaska where somewhere around 100 dog-sledders make this long trip along Alaska and it was immediately fascinating to Karen that human beings do this. At the time Karen was first introduced to the race, there wasn’t a lot of stuff out there. Students could calculate averages, do mathematical equations, read on the subject, and communicate with participants in the Iditarod. As a result, Karen created curriculum and wrote a book on the subject which 1,000’s of teachers were using in their classrooms. Recently; however, the state standards have forced administrators to say that this was not important and were discouraging teachers from using it in the classroom.
As technology evolved, students could do live chats with the mushers. And students could also chat with classrooms that were located at checkpoints along the Iditarod trail.
Karen wishes people outside of education understood that the teacher’s job never stops at 3pm. And that they’ll never understand how much time teachers put into their job over the summers. It’s painful as a teacher that so many other professionals diminish the efforts of teachers and it would be nice if they only knew how much time, effort and commitment most teachers put into their job.
Being a member of the team to educate your child is extremely important. Making sure they’re doing their homework and understanding what goes on in your child’s day is very important. Good, quality parenting is always part of the education process.
One of the things Karen missed was picking up her kids at her line in the morning. She loved seeing their energy and feeling their energy and loved questions.
Engaging Discussion Questions:
- Should teachers bring a piece of themselves into the classroom?
- What do you think is the best way to educate children?
Links to Great Stuff:
- Iditarod.com – “It takes so much more than a field of willing mushers and anxious sled dogs to run the Iditarod Trail Race. With an annual budgetof almost two million dollars, the Iditarod Trail Committee depends on a hard working force of volunteers and supporters to raise the necessary money all year around. An annual sweepstakes isheld. Various items are sold at fairs and benefits. Banquets are planned in both Anchorage and Nome. This volunteer force and the loyal supporters from both the private and business sector make the race possible each year.”
- “Success is being able to get up every morning and be glad that you’re going to your job.”
- “If you love where you’re going and what you’re doing than you’re a success.”
- “Be yourself and study the things that you love. Don’t choose what you study because of what anybody else tells you.”
- “Be yourself. Bring something of yourself into your classroom.”
- “A career goes home with you. A job, you leave behind at the office.”
- “Good, quality parenting is always part of the education process.”
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