Cynthia Kinsey



Question: What would you say your best teaching strategy is? 

Answer: My best teaching strategy is direct instruction with modeling. I Use direct instruction for introducing all new  material and for reviewing difficult or challenging concepts. After teaching students what to do, it is important to model exactly how to do it. Regardless of how clear your directions are, modeling helps the students see exactly what the expectation is for the lesson.  
I typically start all my lessons with definitive teaching and modeling which leads to group practice and then individual student work. Assessing prior knowledge before I begin a lesson guides my instruction . Some lessons, especially math and writing require more direct instruction and modeling.

What do you teach? 

Answer: I currently teach second grade.

Question: Have you always taught that? 

Answer: I have always taught early elementary grades. I taught first grade for 6 years and I have been teaching second grade for 8. 

Why is this what you wanted to teach?

Answer: There are several reasons why I chose to be a teacher. Being a teacher is an incredibly rewarding job.  I love the challenge of instilling a passion to learn within my students that ultimately enables them to evolve into lifelong learners as they continue their journey beyond my classroom. Being a teacher is more than just numbers, letters, and test scores. It is about inspiring the children who represent the future of our community and building their confidence so they can do anything they set their minds to. Being a part of that journey makes me love coming to work every day.

Question: What led you to choose to teach this age group? 

Answer: It was always my calling to become a teacher. When I was growing up I can remember playing school with my cousins and neighbors and of course I was the teacher.  Once I started school I was surrounded by teachers that had a true calling to educate children. My first grade teacher, Mrs. Tipton, was wonderful. She fostered a sense of warmth, acceptance and safety in her classroom that inspired me to fulfill my dream of becoming a teacher.  I want to be that teacher that makes a difference in children's lives and help them be successful in fulfilling their childhood dreams.

What do you feel is the most important thing in your classroom? Why?

This is easy for me. STUDENTS!!! Students are the most important ‘things’ in the classroom. Without students in the classroom, there is no learning taking place. Of course there is online learning or virtual learning that we have had to adapt to in the past, but it does not compare to having warm bodies in a classroom with face to face instruction.

Question: What is your favorite thing about teaching? 

Answer: As a teacher you get to educate and inspire young minds to hopefully grow up and make a difference in the world. A good teacher is a positive role model  in a child’s life. My favorite thing about teaching is that I have the opportunity each and every day to inspire, encourage and motivate each student to reach their full potential.

Question: What makes your school special? 

Answer: I would have to say that my students and the coworkers that I grow along with each day make New Holland special.   I have been a part of the New Holland staff for the past 13 years as this is my 14th year teaching.  Even before I became part of the staff I was a student teacher at New Holland and from the very beginning it was the people that I found most special.  My students have been a joy over the years and many of them are very special to me as well.

2020-2021 was a year like no one has ever experienced, with many challenges and yet, you were selected as the Teacher of the Year. What do you think was a differentiator for you and your classroom especially in the wake of COVID?

Commitment was the differentiator for me and my classroom. I understand what it means to be committed no matter what the situation might be, and I am totally committed to whatever I am tasked with. I exhibit pride and commitment in everything I do on a daily basis with my students,  within the school and in the community.  Students come to school each day needing someone to push them yet love them and foster a sense of stability and safety. This takes commitment on my part. I connect with students easily and we have a mutual respect for each other. I do my best to get to know the individual child and their needs early on so they are able to feel comfortable and safe in my classroom, which in turn lends itself to a positive learning environment and my students and their parents being committed to their learning journey. 

What is the best way for parents to support our teachers? 

Answer: In my opinion the best way for parents to support teachers is to prepare their  child to learn and communicate with the teacher on a regular basis. 

Question: How can students show their appreciation? 

Students can show their appreciation for the education they receive by demonstrating the 4 R’s (Ready, Respectful, Responsible, Role model) each and every day, in and out of school. 

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