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Junior Journalist Update from Frost – By Aishani W.

This month I was asked to write about a staff member that was fulfilling their 54 Promise, so what better person to choose than one of my own teachers? There’s no doubt that all of my teachers are fulfilling their promise to their greatest potential but for this month, I picked my Language Arts teacher Ms. Kalland. Every day when I walk into class, she has such an optimistic attitude and it’s quite contagious. Her positive vibe energizes the class during sixth period and Ms. Kalland’s creative teaching tactics make coming to L.A. enjoyable for many. Ms. Kalland also loves to get to know her students, which makes it more fun coming to class since she’s always asking me how my basketball games are going or when my next dance recital is occurring. Her interest in her students’ lives is another big reason that many students love to have her as their teacher, since they can relate with her on another level.

“Ms. Kalland loves to encourage us to try our best and tries to help us in any way she can to ensure our success,” said one of my classmates, Addisyn.

In order to find out how Ms. Kalland works to fulfill her 54 Promise, I sat down and talked with her about her teaching process.

Q: What was your personal 54 promise?

A: To make you, my students, a priority; to do everything possible to help you at Frost, in high school and beyond.

Q: In what ways are you fulfilling it within your teaching?

A: It was already a goal of mine and I was just putting it into writing and on a card to let my students know what my goal for them was.

Q: What can you do to improve the learning environment for your students?

A: By making it an inviting learning environment, making my students interested in their work, and making sure my students have all that they need to be successful. Also, I can let my students know they are a priority in my life.

Q: Which types of new technology are you trying to implement into your classroom learning?

A: We recently got the interactive monitor in our classroom and it has been working well with the students. We also tried using Canva to create our political cartoons a while back. I also like to try out some of the teaching strategies that have been made available on the Discovery Education website.

Q: How do you find new ways of learning, such as trashketball, to interest your students?

A: I try to use the skill of collaboration or a way that my students can learn from their peers. Working together is an important skill in life so I like to find new material that would help my students for that purpose.

Q: In which ways do you let the class input their thoughts on their learning?

A: There are always quiz and test reflections where you can gain back points for the questions that you may have answered incorrectly. When we have any writing assignment, the students peer review their writing with each other as well. Also, I like to give you guys more freedom on what you would like to do for a project, rather than having it be one certain way. This way, you are likely to have more options in your work.

Q: I see that you have your room always decorated according to the theme of the month. Do you believe that the environment your students learn in is important to their academic growth?

A: I believe that this sort of environment helps feel the students more comfortable and more like a community. It is also quite fun to decorate my classroom and fill it up with bright, welcoming colors. I like to put up the different work that my students have created like the political posters that you all made a while back.

Q: What do you to try to give us more freedom in our comfort?

A: There is a the small rug with the pillows beside it where some students like to do their work by. By doing this, it has a positive impact on their learning environment and also gives them more freedom. Also, I have noticed in all of my classes some students prefer to work in their desks and some prefer to move around the room. I think it is important to let them make that choice, as long as they can find a place that works for them.

Q: Why did you start teaching?

A: Growing up, I had very good teachers and I started teaching because I wanted to be like them. I remember my orchestra teacher and I had shared a close bond and I just want to be able to have such a bond with my students. I value all my students and their personal activities.

Everything we do in District 54 is to fulfill the 54 Promise to ensure student success academically, socially and emotionally. We believe every child deserves to be healthy, safe, engaged, supported and challenged. For their March article we asked our Junior Journalists to write about a staff member who is fulfilling the 54 Promise.