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Transformative Moments: A Year of Growth for Students and First-Year Educator
 

 

Just a few more weeks of this school year to go, and Kayla Theall is seeing so much maturity and growth in her kindergarten students since they first arrived in her classroom at Pine Shadows Elementary last August. 

By closely monitoring academic progress and aligning it with SBISD's Core Characteristics of a T-2-4 Ready Graduate, she maintains a clear understanding of what it takes for each student to succeed. "Students progress at varying rates, and I continuously assess their growth," explained Theall. Moreover, she prioritizes instilling the Core Characteristics in her students.

"I witness students proudly displaying their work, exclaiming, 'Ms. Theall, I gave it my all,'" she shared. "These moments signify significant growth—from uncertainty to actively showcasing their knowledge." Theall seizes these opportunities to nurture students' resilience and adaptability skills.

Easiest and Hardest 

In her first full year of teaching in Spring Branch Independent School District (SBISD), Theall has found that the concrete nature of math makes it the easiest subject to teach for students at kindergarten age. The hardest subject is teaching writing. 

“Every student enters with a unique background; for some, simply holding a pencil is a new experience,” Theall observed. “Generating ideas independently or applying their learning to writing can pose significant challenges.” In navigating these obstacles, Theall finds comfort in the support of mentor teachers and colleagues, forming an invaluable collective support network. SBISD ensures that first-year teachers receive comprehensive professional development and mentorship, equipping them to effectively navigate the growth opportunities and challenges.

What has Theall enjoyed most this school year? Watching her students learn to read. She advocates that the Science of Reading is most critical to positive academic and personal growth. “I believe the Science of Reading is going to have a huge impact on how students continue their literacy journey,” said Theall.

The Journey Continues

We'll continue to follow Theall’s journey as a teacher in SBISD through the end of the school year and celebrate with her as the students in her classroom are ready for first grade next year. Here’s to a strong finish in a special district where teachers and students love to learn and be successful. 

Spring Branch ISD values the hard work of all teachers as they inspire minds and shape lives. 

We invite outstanding educators to apply for openings for the 2024-25 school year. See job openings and application procedures here.


Click here to read more about Ms. Theall's journey this school year.