A Conversation With Collegiate Kindergarten Teacher Kimberly Workman

A Kindergarten classroom contains an abundance of possibilities. For a Kindergartner, each day holds opportunities for growth, kindness and friendship. Brilliantly orchestrating those possibilities is Kimberly Workman, who has taught Kindergarten at Collegiate for five years. A year of Kindergarten is the first step, for many students, into the future of learning, and Mrs. Workman wants to make sure that the future is bright for her students. She talks with Spark about the joys of teaching at Collegiate, her teaching style and the perks of being in Kindergarten.
What makes teaching at Collegiate so special? 
Our School’s focus on creating responsible citizens through service learning is what makes teaching at Collegiate so special. Not every school has the time or resources to allow their students to identify needs in their community — classroom, school and global — and find ways to help solve those problems.

What is your approach to teaching?
Teaching Kindergarten is a unique experience. No matter what a child’s preschool or Junior Kindergarten experience was, many view Kindergarten as the first step into “big kid school.”

During this important educational transition, there is a special opportunity to instill a love of learning in each student. Because of this, I try to approach teaching in a student-centered way. I try to make lessons as engaging as possible by incorporating student interests. You always want your kids to want to come to school each day and be excited about what they are going to accomplish.

What do you hope your students take with them when they leave your classroom?
I hope my students leave Kindergarten wanting to be lifelong learners. My hope for the end of Kindergarten is that they have had a great year and are sad to leave our little community but feel prepared and ready for 1st Grade. I hope they are good people — not just to others in the Collegiate community, but to those outside of this safe space.
What do you love most about Collegiate? 
I love the tradition of the Kindergarten-Senior buddy pairings. It’s nice to see how the relationships evolve over the course of the year. The Kindergartners start the year off not remembering their Senior’s name or having much to talk about with them. And then, at the end of the year, they are sharing with their classmates where their Senior is going to college and wanting to write them stories and make them gifts for their last visit together.

What is your favorite aspect of teaching Kindergartners? 
Being a Kindergartner has its perks! Kindergartners make so much visible growth and are so excited about the little things during the year. They are learning how to make new friends,
learning the routine and traditions of a new school, learning how to speak up for themselves and becoming readers of a variety of books. This is all occurring while they are losing their teeth,
sharing what they are grateful for in a classmate when they have a birthday, having a “p-jam and stuffy day” to celebrate the last school day of winter, and having the chance to play on Fort Cougar.

What are you most proud of?
I am proud that the Kindergartners I’ve had over the last several years are turning into good people. It’s also always nice to hear that a project you did with your class or an experience
you shared together is something that they remember.

Published in the print edition of the 2022 fall Spark magazine, which will begin arriving in mailboxes December 15.