Name: Kimberly Darrington (students call her Mrs. D.)
Originally from: Arizona, but has lived in beautiful places such as Maui, Hawaii, Aspen and Vail, Colorado, Sarasota, Flordia, and now Evergreen (15 year resident).
Mrs. D.’s philosophy of teaching: As a wife of 23 years and an experienced mother of two young men (16 and 21 years old) and a full time guardian of a 13 year old girl, I embrace teaching as an opportunity to “mark” student’s hearts and minds. Learning should not only be to engage the mind but also reach the heart. Once the students’ minds and hearts become active, then the lifelong journey of inquiry and self-motivated learning will happen. Ideally, I want students to feel personally inspired by my teaching as I instruct them to “learn how to learn”. As a teacher, it is my goal to make learning contagious so that one idea sparks another. Learning should be a life long endeavor which builds upon previous knowledge. My goals for students include skills such as critical thinking, improved problem-solving and writing abilities, and to work effectively in groups through cooperative learning. I believe that each student is highly capable of contributing and can participate in creating a classroom environment that is stimulating and respectful of diverse views and experiences. Instruction should recognize that classes are made up of students with unique interests, skills and backgrounds. As a teacher, I aim to make sensitive and fair decisions that respect the dignity and worth of students of different ethnic, linguistic, and economic groups with the hope that my students will embrace the same belief. I create a supportive learning environment socially, psychologically and physically to help students learn. Also, I establish healthy relationships with my students which are essential to successful teaching. I believe that each student is unique, and their actions and reactions are very personal in nature. Effective classroom management should involve a few overriding tenets rather than a long list of specific rules. Situations should be dealt with as they arise, with the focus on enabling the student to grow and learn from their actions. Students should be given choices with limits in which the teacher oversees. As a teacher, I guide my students to solve their own problems through empathy, enforceable statements, offering choices and restitution. I believe that all students are capable of high academic achievement and I base my beliefs and behavior on the needs, abilities, and aspirations of each individual student. My goal is to challenge my students intellectually and support them academically by responding to different learning styles. Lastly, I model humility, kindness and respect towards all my students because I am completely committed to opening up their hearts and minds.
About Kimberly.: Kimberly graduated Cum Laude from Metro State College (now Univerisity) of Denver with a Bachelor of Arts degree Behavioral Science Major with a focus in Sociology and an Elementary Education Minor. Since teaching at RMAE for the past six years (2 years in 4th grade, 3 years in 3rd grade, and a year as a substitute teacher), she has received several awards from her cohorts: Teacher of the Year and two Jeffco Values Awards: Exemplary Performance and Valuing Others the Most.
Interesting Facts: Kimberly has applied three times to be on the TV reality show, Survivor! The first two weeks of every summer vacation she spends with 100+ high school youth doing mission work. Some of her favorite inner cities and rural communities that she has served in are: the Tenderloin District in San Francisco, Washington D.C., Chicago, and La Push, Washington.
Core Knowledge: Kimberly is passionate about Core Knowledge curriculum because it identifies what students have learned in previous Core Knowledge grades and what they will learn in future Core Knowledge grades. She finds Core Knowlege history and science most fascinating! Fourth grade topics include: world geography, Europe in the Middle Ages, the spread of Islam and the Holy Wars, early and medieval African kingdoms, Chineses dynasties and conquerors, the American Revolution, making a Constitutional government, early presidents and politics, the human body (circulatory and respiratory), chemistry, electricity, geology, and meteorology. The curriculum is written at a higher level, which truly sparks great thinking!