Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Tuesday Teacher Feature

This week's featured teacher is Kim Rensch, a language arts facilitator and gifted services specialist for Discovery and Ben Franklin Middle Schools. 
Kim has always been guided by her “deep desire to ensure a solid education for all students.” Although Kim feels that she has had this desire for as long as she can remember, there have been many people who have inspired and continue to inspire her to further develop as a teacher. Some of these mentors have been her former UND professors, her cooperating teacher while she was student teaching in Grand Forks, her fellow facilitators, and those involved in the writing project, including Erika and Angie, her “My North Dakota Story” partners. Although Kim’s strong desire to foster an educated community has been the primary force behind her perseverance and achievements as an educator, she credits these individuals for helping her stick through the stressful moments of teaching and inspiring her to find new ways to become a more effective teacher.

One of the many ways in which Kim has sought to strengthen her students’ education is through her writing instruction. She believes that it is important to not only learn practical writing skills but to also spend time exploring a variety of genres in order to find joy in writing. As a teacher, she always made an effort to introduce students to as many genres as possible, although she felt that there was never enough time to do this as much as she had hoped. Kim’s desire to provide her students with access to numerous writing genres echoes her lifelong desire to provide students with a solid education.

In addition to writing, it is important to Kim to inspire students to find joy in reading, which has been a vital foundation in her life ever since she discovered the joy in long childhood summer days spent reading at the library. To Kim, reading “is woven into the fabric of [her] being.” Because of this belief, she has always strove to inspire her students to discover their own reading interests. As a teacher, she always kept up with popular titles so she always had a range of reading recommendations for students. In her current position, she continues to encourage students to read by recommending titles to teachers and making conversation with students about books they are reading. Outside of school, even through her busy schedule, Kim manages to read on her own, at times even several books at once! She is currently reading Linda Rief’s Read Write Think and the Fargo community read, Fractured Land: The Price of Inheriting Oil, by Lisa Westberg Peters, both of which she recommends. Kim is clearly an avid reader, and her desire to impart this passion onto students is inspiring.