Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Christi Kitchens: Discovering the Formula for Joyful Teaching

By Nadia Rendon

Acclaimed author Flannery O’Connor, Ex U.S. President James Carter, Julia Roberts, and Dakota Fanning all have one thing in common: they were born in Georgia, USA. Georgia has  been home to many important influential people. Christi Kitchens, KIS chemistry teacher and JV basketball coach, is no exception. 
Ms. Kitchens joined the KIS community at the beginning of the school year. Adventure, curiosity, and the idea of submerging in a different culture lured her into coming to Kiev all the way from Milledgeville, Georgia where she had previously been teaching at Georgia Military College. 

“I have always wanted to see the world and truly experience people and places that enjoy different cultures and traditions than those that I know,” Ms. Kitchens stated, “I also want my children to grow up with the understanding that we should appreciate and enjoy our differences and not be frightened by them.  Kiev sounded like a good starting place.”

Although Ms. Kitchens is experienced in the area of teaching, this was not always her primary focus. Ms. Kitchens started out by working in a hospital, but later on she thought teaching might bring a positive change in [her] life. This inspired her to begin her teaching experience at one of the local colleges where she taught some college courses at night. 

According to Ms. Kitchens, the feeling of accomplishment when students succeed is what motivated her to continue teaching. 

“I love teaching because I have the opportunity to share each day with many different students who each bring different joys to each day.” she informed. “I also enjoy being in a learning environment where I can watch students discover new ideas and concepts, and I can keep learning with them.”

When asked about her favorite part of teaching she responded by saying that she loves watching students get exited after figuring things out on their own. “I also like to see the joy on a students face when they are proud of an accomplishment and know that you are proud of them as well”. 

According to Ms. Kitchens she believes that every student has a different approach when it comes to learning, but ultimately all students have the ability to do so. 

“ I strive to meet the learning needs of each group of students that enter my classroom so that each student is provided with the necessary learning experience.  I am not always successful the first time, but differentiation and determination seem to work well for me.  A little tough love never hurts either”

During her free time, Ms. Kitchens enjoys exercising and spending quality time with her friends and family. She also is the current JV Girls Basketball coach along with her co-coach, Meghan Jones.