An alumni of Johnston School District, Kristen Miner graduated from UNI in hopes of one day returning to her alma mater to teach.
“I was always hoping the Johnston School District would be somewhere I’d land because I knew how awesome it was to be a student of this district,” Miner stated.
Now, after 7 years teaching first grade at Beaver Creek Elementary School, Miner has become a model teacher, has served on the district math committe and has served on the district technology team. As such, she has helped the district with professional development days, helped choose the math curriculum that is best aligned with the common core standards, and helped encourage the use of technology throughout the district.
“I have always admired my grandmother as a 3rd grade teacher in Le Mars, Iowa. The passion of wanting to impact and inspire kids to chase their curiosity and wonders is what inspired me to become a teacher,” Miner stated.
In addition to her tradtional teaching curriculum, this year Miner has incorporated some new nontradtiional methods in her classroom. This includes white boards on the top of her student’s tables. Miner will often post questions on these white boards in order to allow her students to draw their answers and show their thinking.
Another nontradtitional approach to her classroom is the freedom of seating arrangments. Students are able to stand while doing classroom assignments, work on pillows, or even sit on exercise balls.
Miner admits that these new methods have forced her to step outside the comfort zone of her traditional teaching methods. However, so far they have proven to be extremely successful.
In her free time, Miner loves spending time with her 18 month old son, Brantley, her family and friends. She loves reading and snowmobiling. And, she was also not only a soccer player at Johnston School District but at UNI as well.
“When I first graduated, I was originally looking at teaching 2nd or 3rd grade students. But an opening became available to teach 1st grade at Beaver Creek and I ended up falling in love with this grade. The students have a love for learning and just so much growth happens,” Miner stated.
What do you like best about Mrs. Miner’s class?
“Mrs. Miner makes learning fun! I love the activities we do in class!”
“Her classroom activities are really fun! Me and my friends in class have a lot of fun in Mrs. Miner’s class!”
“She does a lot of fun things! I love writing in class!”