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TEam Member Spotlights

TEam Member Spotlight: Karin Espinosa


What is your role on the TEam?

I am joining the TEam as an Instructional Coach. I have previously worked as a faculty advisor, mentor teacher, and grade level chair, so I am very excited about the opportunity to devote more time and energy specifically to teacher development!

Where did you study? List all that apply.

I completed my undergraduate studies at the University of Arizona in Tucson (Go Wildcats!), but I have also completed some master level courses here at the University of St. Thomas in order to complete my teaching certification.

 

Why are you passionate about education and teacher development?

My grandfather would always say that people can take so many things away from you, but they can never take away your knowledge. Knowledge and the ability to learn hold an incredible amount of value, and I think that every person has the right to access that. In order for students to have access to this knowledge, we need highly effective teachers in every classroom. That is why teacher development is so important. Teachers can foster growth and learning in their students but also need to be on a continuous quest for growth themselves.

 

Describe a successful teaching strategy that you used in the classroom or that you frequently recommend to your teachers.

Make it visual! So often, teachers will give effective directions/guidelines/steps; however, if they neglect to have a visual reference, students have a harder time accessing the information.

If you had to describe your work on the TEam in three words, what would they be?

Committed, transformational, growth

What advice would you have for an educator who aspires to become an instructional leader?

Educators interested in instructional leadership should learn everything they can in every way possible. Ask questions. Pay attention to the instructional leaders on your campus and how they handle situations. Teach different grade levels. Offer to lead some professional development at your school. Put yourself out there.

When you are not working on closing the achievement gap, what do you enjoy doing?

While not working to close the achievement gap, I enjoy reading, painting, hanging out with friends, and watching football during the season… specifically…ahem… the Texans!

Which TE-shirt is your favorite and why?

“Redefine Possible” is my favorite shirt, because that part of the mission statement is what grabbed my attention in the first place. I love the idea of creating opportunities for students by breaking boundaries.

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