A little bit about Kim@OCBeachTeacher and her journey as an educator!
Grades and subjects currently or most recently taught?
American Literature (11th grade) & AP English Literature and Composition (12th grade)
What started you on the journey to become a teacher/ educator?
Originally I received my B.S. in journalism, so I didn’t plan to become a teacher until a couple of years after my undergraduate studies. I worked as an assistant in the guidance office of a local high school and loved helping students. I especially liked being involved with sponsoring educational assemblies. As a result of my work there, I decided to pursue my M.Ed.
Anything else that has made your journey special or noteworthy?
A memorable experience occurred during my sixth year of teaching. In February of 2003, I was involved in a life-threatening car accident on my way to work. The road where the accident happened is a frequently traveled single-lane highway used by students, families, and employees of our school system. Shockingly, on that highway, the fatality rate is 300 percent higher than our state’s average.
Shortly after the accident, I supported a local high school student’s efforts to create Kids Requesting Action for Safer Highways (KRASH II). I facilitated his efforts and empowered interested students by coaching them to speak at a forum with local and state government officials. Furthermore, I helped other concerned students write and send letters to elected officials.
In response to efforts from KRASH II, funds were made available to complete the dualization of the highway, and construction began in 2005 (it’s almost completed now). In a county where 82 busses travel 7,596 miles per day, I know that I have contributed to the safer journeys of students and community members. I used my car accident as a “teachable moment.
What special thing do you do for your students?
Late in 2007, I earned my National Board Certification in English Language Arts/Adolescence and Young Adulthood. The process was both challenging and nerve-racking, but I benefited from continually reflecting on my instructional practices. It definitely improved my teaching and has given me confidence in my professional decisions.
I have also worked as a teacher consultant with the Eastern Shore Writing Project (ESWP), an affiliate of the National Writing Project, since 2006. I have been an instructor at writing camps sponsored by the ESWP for many years. Additionally, I have provided professional development at regional conferences and worked as part of a professional learning community with them.
Kim, the OCBeach Teacher, is a National Board Certified English teacher who is currently teaching American Literature and AP English Literature and Composition. She shares classroom ideas and tips on her OCBeachTeacher Facebook Page.