Middle School Math Teacher
High school graduated from: Iowa-Grant
College: Kari graduated from UW-Platteville in 2004 with a degree in Industrial Engineering. In 2008, she earned her Middle Level Education Math Degree, also from UW-Platteville. She earned her Library Administration Certification from UW-Whitewater. In 2020, she earned her Masters from UW-Whitewater in PD & Information Studies.
Previous employment: From 2008-12, Kari was a Computer Teacher and Tech Coordinator for Mineral Point Schools. From 2012-13, she was an Academic Advisor at Southwest Tech. From 2013-14, she was an Instructional Technology Coach at CESA 3. From 2014-18, she came back to Mineral Point to be the Elementary Library Media Specialist. Since 2018 she has been a Middle School Science Teacher at Iowa-Grant.
Family: I met my husband Mike at UW-Platteville through volleyball. We were married in 2004. We have three children: Kennedy (Freshman), Maddy (6th grade), and Liam (4th grade). We keep busy with various sports and go to our place on the Mississippi River when we have free time.
Hobbies/Free time interests: I like to read for pleasure, go golfing, spend time outdoors, and go for walks. I mostly do these activities with my family. Any free time I have is typically dedicated to family time. We enjoy being outside together and playing games or watching family movies.
What attracted you to return to #PointerNation?: Mineral Point is a special place. I have always felt a part of something special when working in Mineral Point. The community and district is amazing. I am also excited to be back in a progressive district that has a high standard of excellence. But what I am most excited about is finally getting the opportunity to teach math, which is the reason I became a teacher in the first place. I have always loved math, and it was the reason I went into engineering and then back to teach with an emphasis in math. Having this opportunity to teach what I am passionate about, in a district I love is a dream come true. Thanks for accepting me back in #PointerNation! I am grateful for this opportunity.
Quotable: “I believe that every child deserves to have a safe, supportive environment in which to learn and develop intellectually, emotionally, physically, and socially. It is my job as an educator to give them this opportunity by creating a safe environment that supports risk-taking and invites the sharing of ideas. To create this space for learning there are three things that need to happen: 1) the teacher must act as a guide, 2) we must allow the child’s curiosity about the world to direct his/her learning, and 3) we must promote respect for all things and people.
When the teacher’s role is a guiding one, the teacher provides access to information and models how to find answers to questions so that the teacher becomes a facilitator for accessing information instead of the primary source of information. This will give students the opportunity to construct their own knowledge and discover new ways of thinking and practicing new skills in authentic situations. Providing students with hands-on activities for discovery and construction of knowledge to occur will help students foster a love of learning.
Equally important to self-discovery is having the opportunity to study things that are relevant to one’s life and interests. This is especially true for early adolescent students, where they are only conscious of what is happening in their own lives. Developing a curriculum around students interests fosters a passion for learning. Giving students opportunities for input will generate ideas and allow students to set goals for themselves to improve which is at the heart of personalized learning.
Finally, creating an environment that promotes a love and respect for themselves, others and the environment is critical to making all students feel safe to take risks and share ideas. Children have a greater respect for their teachers, their peers and the learning process when they feel valued and sure of what is expected of them. A smoothly run classroom is developed by clearly stating what is expected in the classroom by modeling and practicing classroom procedures and routines (responsive classroom).”