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Kristen Rowland and the science of teaching

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Kristen Rowland is a fifth grade teacher at North Elementary where she is a math and science instructor.

“Math and science were my two hardest subjects when I was in school,” she admitted of the challenge she faced when taking the job. “I’ve had to study extra hard to be fluent in those topics.”

She has been teaching for six years, five of those in math and science. “I have to study regularly and it keeps changing every year it seems,” she admitted.

Kristen hails from neighboring McMinnville and started in DeKalb her first year to fill in for a teacher on maternity leave. She ended up covering for three separate maternity leaves that year. She taught kindergarten, fourth and fifth that year. She believes that was helpful to her career because she got to see how the different grade levels work.

“What’s interesting about fifth grade is how much they can accomplish on their own,” Kristen said. “Their creativity and sarcasm in their jokes in the classroom.”

She noted that fifth grade is a preparation year. “We try to break away from the elementary things they are used to,” she said. “Such as having to be reminded to write their name on their paper or reminded to turn their paper in for a grade. We try to start the year that way to make them more independent before they move into middle school.”

When she goes home at night, Kristen says she does take her work home with her sometimes. “I think through the lessons of the day and some of the struggles my students may have had and how I can correct that.”

When she’s not teaching, Kristen is busy raising her 10-month-old. “Right now my 10-month-old keeps me on my toes,” she noted. “We’re pretty booked up with birthday parties and all kinds of fun every weekend.”