Welcome to Ms. Kimnach's website for Passages Middle School in Council Bluffs, Iowa.
This is my first year at Passages and my seventh year as a teacher. I started in the Council Bluffs Community Schools district as a student teacher from UNO and started teaching the following school year. I have worked with elementary and middle school students throughout my teaching career. I also have raised three of my own children, so am familiar with all the pleasures and tribulations involved with teenagers. Parenting is not an easy job , just as it is not an easy job teaching lots of different parents' children at the same time. The more we can work together to get through these difficult times, the easier all our jobs (student, teacher, and parent) will seem.
My Philosophy of Education
I believe all children can learn. I believe it is my responsibility as an educator to lead students to the knowledge they need to succeed later in life. I believe technology is the most powerful tool we have to engage students. I believe putting technology in the hands of students will open doors of opportunities for them in high school and beyond. I believe experiences outside the classroom impact students more than information they read from a textbook. I believe students break rules at school because they believe they are unable to be successful in the classroom and because they feel disconnected from adults at school. I believe it is one of my responsibilities to connect with my students in a way that makes them feel safe and able to learn what they need to learn in order to be successful beyond their time in my class. I believe students need guidance from important adults in their lives to be all they can be. I believe I can make a difference with the students I work with.
My Plan for Making a DIfference
I plan to use a great deal of technology in my classroom in a number of new ways (even new to me). I plan to focus on teaching the social rules of interactions with peers and adults on a daily basis, pointing out to students the way body language and preconceived notions impact relationships. One of the reasons students get into trouble at school is that their actions are perceived as "disrespectful" by adults. Many students sincerely do not understand why their behavior made an adult feel they were being disrespected. Often, once an adult refers to a student as disrespectful, the student then decides if they are going to be blamed for being disrespectful, they might as well be disrespectful. As you can see, this leads to an endless cycle of problems between adults and teens (often at home and at school). It is up to the adults to teach the teen the skills they need to stay out of trouble and stay in the classroom.
My Goal for Every Student I Teach
My goal for every student I teach at Passages is for that student to become confident is their ability to learn the content taught. I also aim for each student to be more aware of of their interactions with peers and adults and how small changes to their behavior can result in big changes in their success rate. My final goal is for each student I teach at Passages to return to their home school as soon as they are ready to show improvement in attendance, behavior, and work completion at their home school. I do not want students returning to my class, but I do welcome communication from the students I have taught via school email to let me know how they're doing or if they have questions they'd like me to answer.