Moving into a new year is a natural reminder to take a deep breath and do some reflecting. KidsTek Program Manager, Meghan Lang, spoke with a couple of the KidsTek instructors to get their thoughts on the past year and what they have learned. “All of our instructors are really special people, and I thought sharing some of their ‘aha moments’ from 2020 could be a good reflective opportunity for them.”
No matter the year, teaching is always tricky, but 2020 brought its own unique challenges. Emily Tow, KidsTek Senior Instructor, shared “I always believed this to be true, but this year has made it clearer than ever that building relationships with students is the key to effective teaching. It is so easy right now for students to lose motivation, feel overwhelmed, or disconnect from school for a multitude of reasons, so having that relationship with a student so that you better understand where they’re at on any given day is tremendously important.” Katy Limes, KidsTek Instructor at Hinkley High School added, “I learned just how much students appreciate it when you meet them on their level– I got so much appreciation when I decided to use memes and online tools they were already familiar with.” The importance of relating with students and building relationships became clearer this year than ever before.
Meghan also asked each instructor “What is one thing you want to ‘take with you’ into 2021?” Emily enthusiastically said, “Nothing is forever! Things are always changing, and adaptability is absolutely key.” Emily excels at being flexible and creative, and always makes sure she is planning ahead at the same time. Katy shared, “Being positive and ambitious about what I can accomplish helped me make online learning a great experience for my students, and I want to keep that going in 2021.” Katy’s positive, can-do attitude was very apparent to her students, which helped each of them be more enthusiastic in her online class.
KidsTek would not be able to fulfill its mission without talented instructors like Katy and Emily. Thank you for sharing some of your teaching insights from 2020!