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We Love Our Teachers

We couldn’t prepare our 25,000 students in Kent School District (KSD) for success without our incredible teaching staff of almost 2,000. From bringing lessons to life to knowing each student’s strengths and needs, our educators go above and beyond each day!  

Teacher Appreciation
Chief Learning Officer DeNelle West describes what makes our teachers so AWESOME! 

Attention is key characteristic demonstrated with each of our KSD teachers. Every classroom I’ve visited this school year reflects not only careful attention to learning targets and social emotional needs of students, but careful attention to the arrangement of the classroom, pace, and variation of instructional strategies to best engage students in learning. At East Hill Elementary School, I saw students engaged in hands-on, rigorous math activities in one classroom. In another classroom, students were learning how to shop for and prepare a nutritious meal.  

Writing is an interdisciplinary skill that is critical for the academic success of each student. Our teachers are creative in their methods for integrating writing in all content areas. At Kent-Phoenix Academy, the Career and Technical Education teachers have students complete a written plan outlining the specifics of machine they plan to build. At Mattson Middle School, the Art teacher guides students through self-assessment and written reflection to prioritize academic goals for the course.  

Excellence is a KSD core value that is lived in each of our classrooms. High expectations for students are more than rigorous academic standards, but a belief that all students can achieve at high levels. Our community of teachers dedicate many hours to help identify, define, and shape the core instructional practices for the district in addition to team planning and developing classroom daily lessons. Teachers from Cedar Valley, Crestwood, Daniel, Fairwood, Glenridge, Horizon, Meridian, Panther Lake, Park Orchard, Ridgewood, Scenic Hill, Soos Creek, and Sunrise Elementary Schools were integral in the support curriculum reviews for elementary schools. Kentlake, Kent-Meridian, Kent Mountain View Academy, Kent Phoenix Academy, Kentridge, and Kentwood teachers were leaders in developing the physics materials. 

Strategy is key to the work of teaching and learning. KSD teachers navigate multiple sources of data to prioritize learning and supports for each and every student. Ridgewood, Sawyer Woods, Scenic Hill elementary schools, Kent Valley Early Learning Center, and Meridian Middle School teachers approach instruction through research-based processes, explicit instructional practices, and continuous improvement cycles to ensure every student receives the instructional support they need. Our district program specialists, counselors, speech language pathologists, and school psychologists are strategic in how they diagnose, nurture, and support our students to reach their full potential and become college and career ready. 

Opportunity for our students to demonstrate the knowledge and talents happens with whole-school efforts to ensure students start and transition their academic experiences in a way that honors where students are in their Pre-K – 21 journeys. Our teachers provide extensive supports to students in our Pre-K programs at schools like Daniel Elementary and Kent Valley Early Learning Center. They help build vertical supports to help students prepare for kindergarten through Ready! K and preschool instruction. Teachers at Kent-Meridian provide multiple entry points to advanced curriculum and extra-curricular services to support the whole-child in their academic journey. Our iGrad teachers provide access and opportunity to earn a diploma, GED, or credential to allow each student to enter a pathway designed to meet their unique needs. Our TOP teachers provide scaffolds to help students achieve school success and transition to their next phase college, career, and life ready.  

Mental stamina required to teach requires conditioning and ongoing practice. KSD teachers must practice self-care to be a leader for instruction each day. Each of our teachers celebrate each other, volunteer in the community, build care packages for students and families, and teach. Embedded in teaching is the daily care of students. Our teachers balance that care for students, school, community, in addition to caring for themselves and their families. 

Equity is embedded in everything our teachers do to support teaching and learning in KSD. Our district is one of the most diverse districts in the region and our teachers honor our diversity for calling out practices that do not reflect our core values. Our teachers advocate for students that are marginalized or overrepresented in our data. Their voices are powerful and heard at board meetings, community conversations, curriculum meetings, and professional learning opportunities that keep us focused on our core business, teaching and learning. 

We are fortunate to have an awesome group of professionals that we are proud to support and celebrate! Please join us in showing our teachers how grateful we are for them this month and all year!