NM: It's Friday. How are you about to relax and enjoy your weekend and refresh for Monday?
KJ: This weekend, I'm having some time with my
family. They're coming to town. Over the years, I've just learned to
have a good balance.
I try to maximize the time during the day. We're such a collaborative
school here. Once a week we have professional development for two
hours. One hour of that time is spent collaborating. We share ideas
about lessons. We share student samples. We talk about the next few
lessons that are about to happen.
That time really helps me focus on work so that when I leave, I'm
able to have personal time. I'm a big CrossFitter. I like to do
NM: Do you do the obstacles where you swing on a tire and push a tire up a hill?
KJ: I’ve flipped some tires in my lifetime.
NM: You don't mind mud, obviously. Do you put on makeup?
KJ: I do.
NM: Oh, see, I hardly wear makeup on a regular day, and you're telling me you CrossFit and you wear makeup?
KJ: I CrossFit in my makeup; I do. I like to be
around friends and family, too. I just think that's very important. If I
have time to myself, I’ll go for a run. I might cook something. I'm
trying to get into cooking. That is my little resolution: being more
prepared with my meal prepping.
NM: Does your family bring that up, that you don't contribute to the cooking?
KJ: My mom has me spoiled, I believe. She really
loves to cook, you know. Since she’s a nutritionist, that's something
she likes to do.
Growing up, I was really spoiled. I got to play more than work in the
kitchen with her. I went to college in the same city I was from, so I
went to University of Southern Mississippi, in Hattiesburg. I was from
Hattiesburg, so I didn't have to go far for those home-cooked meals. I
was very spoiled.
NM: Yes, you are spoiled. So why cook? You don’t need to.
KJ: Right. That's where I am today.
NM: I still do not cook that much. My daughter has taken that on. She likes it. I've never liked it.
KJ: Most of the time when I cook, I don't want to eat it.
NM: I'm the same way. We'll have to explore that concept.
What's on your TV playlist, whether it's Netflix or Hulu or traditional cable?
KJ: I'm not a big TV person. I like all kinds of
sports. I'm big on basketball and football fan. Most of the time, that's
what's on the TV. It's really high energy and keeps my attention. I'm
also a big news person. I watch the news every morning.
NM: What’s your favorite basketball team?
KJ: I follow talent, so LeBron James is my favorite.
NM: High five! Mine, too. LeBron, we're talking to you. This is Noelle and Karen. We want to talk to you.
KJ: He opened a school. That was just so awesome.
NM: Do you feel the same about college sports?
KJ: I get into college sports. Around March Madness time, you just can't deny that time, it's just a good competitive game.
NM: I love seeing that energy and drive. How, as a teacher, do you leverage that competitive spirit in your classroom?
KJ: I think it starts from building a child's confidence.
Here at Harriet Tubman we push our values: excellence,
responsibility, courage, and unity. We talk to our students about these
values a lot. Adults here also use those values. We highlight when we
see them, and we give each other shout outs to show our appreciation.
We also focus on habits of mind. Do you have grit? Do you finish what
you start? Do you use metacognition? Are you thinking about your
thinking? We try to embed those things in our teaching. I'm constantly
saying, “Did you really mean to bump that person? Was that an accident?
Let's understand that our bodies do things sometimes and we don't mean
to, so let's go ahead and apologize. We have to communicate that to the