November’s KBAY Teacher of the Month is Kim Muñoz who recently began a new position as a Teacher on Special Assignment. Kim was recognized by the San Jose/Silicon Valley Chamber of Commerce and Silicon Valley Education Foundation as “Teacher of the Year” at the Chamber’s Legends and Leaders event. Listen to Kim’s KBAY interview.
Building Student Assets, Inside and Outside of School
Kim spent the last 10 years at Blackford Elementary School, teaching first, second and third grade. She describes teaching there as a pleasure. Kim says, “My school had an enrollment of around 700 with a large Supplemental Education Services and English Learners population. Our students need us to help build their assets both in school and outside of school and the staff is hugely commited to doing so. My first grade curriculum included reading, math, writing, science, health, music, physical education, Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS), [and] social studies.”
Supporting English Learners and Increasing Parent Engagement
In her new role as Teacher on Special Assignment, Kim helps educators use the best teaching practices for their diverse student populations, while strengthening the district’s numerous programs. Her tasks include coaching at 10 school sites and supporting two more teachers in their systematic application of PBIS goals. Kim’s says, “I will be working to ensure fidelity to the program districtwide as well as its infusion into the culture of the schools. About 20% of my role is to support parent engagement districtwide. I am also working to network English Learner instructors across the district. I have facilitated a district Internet safety night and am the point person for Dictionary Day, College Day, and County Office of Education Parent Engagement classes. I am also in charge of the creation of a brochure, which will be offered districtwide to advertise district and school site level offerings for parents this year.”
Teaching to the Whole Child
In October 2011, Kim was recognized by the San Jose/Silicon Valley Chamber of Commerce and the Silicon Valley Education Foundation as “Teacher of the Year” at the Chamber’s annual Legends and Leaders event. The selection committee noted that Kim understands the importance of teaching to the whole child and that she consistently addresses the need to engage students academically, culturally, emotionally and physically. As a first grade teacher, she celebrates the cultural heritage of children while setting high expectations for all, often pulling together small groups of students to re-teach those who have not met grade level expectations. The committee also recognized her work with PBIS and that she was the catalyst for institutionalizing PBIS methods to ensure a safe and positive learning environment for all children at her school.
Kim has been a classroom teacher for 16 years. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Liberal Studies from Humboldt State University and later received a Master’s degree in Administration and Supervision from San Jose State University.