Teacher Spotlight: Kristl Wong

Kindergarten classroom

An Interview  with TK Teacher Kristl Wong

A couple of days ago, I had a chance to interview Kristl Wong, a transitional kindergarten teacher at Foster City Elementary School in Foster City, CA (Her sister is Jadelyn Chang, whose interview was published last week.) Kristl uses Kaymbu everyday in her classroom, and absolutely loves the video feature in particular.  She told me all about the awesome ways she is using Kaymbu and shared a great tip for fellow teachers!

Kristl, how long have you been teaching and why did you decide to become a teacher?

I’ve been teaching for the past 15 years.  I decided to become a teacher to help kids to develop a love of learning, which is key to prevent children from deciding later on to experiment with drugs or alcohol. This is very important to me because prior to teaching I ran alcohol and drug prevention programs for San Mateo County in California.

Why did you decide to become an elementary school teacher specifically?

I wanted to do more in the area of prevention.  I learned about risk and protection factors and saw that so much of this can be addressed and nurtured in elementary school.  By the time kids get to high school, it’s hard because their identity has already been formed and this can bring about experimentation wiith drugs and alcohol.

How have elementary school teaching strategies changed in your classroom since you began teaching?

I don’t really think the strategies have changed  – kids still need to play, investigate, and question the world around them.  It’s how we achieve that which has changed, as technology has erupted.  When I started teaching I didn’t have a computer, much less a camera for documentation. I had chalk lap boards, then white boards came into use, and now I have iPads.

How do you integrate technology into your classroom?

Kristl Wong

I use technology to show real life images – such as when we are studying shapes. I’ll show pictures of every day items, as well as things that don’t exist, that are made of shapes. I have introduced units with a video clip. My students are digital natives and they just turned five!  I know they all
use computers and technology at home,  so in the classroom we are working on social and emotional skills. I use technology to stay abreast of what teachers are doing
in their classrooms, and I use technology to connect with the parents of my students.

What is one example of how you used Kaymbu successfully in your classroom?

Kaymbu has been such an awesome way to capture video in particular. One of our goals is to be able to describe events with details. Since my students are so young, most of it is oral.  Kaymbu can help me capture these conversations, which is so much easier than transcribing.

How has Kaymbu affected relationships with your student’s parents and families?

It’s definitely strengthened the bond between home, school, and child!  So often parents do not really know what’s going on in school. But with Kaymbu, I’m able to take short video clips and pictures throughout the day and share them with parents in a secure and private fashion.

How has Kaymbu streamlined your documentation process?

I’m able to take video or pictures much faster than I could ever transcribe, which has made it possible to document all my kids in half the time.  Kaymbu has made it so much easier for me to do my job!

Describe one of your favorite moments from your classroom:

I really enjoy interacting with my kids – having conversations with them, and to getting to know them. Teaching transitional kindergarten has enabled me the gift of time…time to get to know each of my students rather than get on to the next lesson.

What is a tip you can give to other teachers to energize themselves for the school day? 

Take time for yourself…teaching can become your whole life if you let it. Its important to create strategies that work for you to become more efficient with less time…Kaymbu is my answer!

What do you enjoy about teaching the most?  

I love being able to create moments for my kiddos…those “AHA moments”…when the light turns on and they make connections.

Want to share how you Kaymbu? Email sam@kaymbu.com or tweet us at @kaymbuinc and you could be our next teacher spotlight!

The top photo is courtesy of woodleywonderworks under Creative Commons Licensing.