Kindergarten teacher Katherine Shaw holds Washington Elementary's youngest students to the highest standards. Shaw has also taught second and sixth grades as well as served as an instructional coach at the high-poverty, largely Hispanic school. Throughout her tenure, she has worked wonders with differentiating instruction to meet students where they are, closing academic gaps and guiding them to mastery.
Shaw's own experience as an English Language Learner heightens her focus on the needs of her students. Her classroom is a hub of nonstop activity with Shaw using a variety of techniques to engage her students and make content come to life. Appealing to a visual audience, she is animated in her instruction and sets up multiple centers in the classroom where children engage in small group activities. The classroom itself is warm and inviting, and Shaw gives constant praise to her students to reinforce good work habits.
With Shaw's unwavering support, her students thrive. On the Basic Phonics Skills Tests (BPST), virtually all of Shaw's students show mastery at or above grade level in phonemes and phonics. Shaw maintains students' interest in reading by creating a "print-rich" environment in her classroom.
Her passion for education transcends the classroom walls as well. A firm believer that teachers are lifelong learners, Shaw regularly researches best practices to share within her school and district. She provides district-level professional development for Thinking Maps, Path to Proficiency, Common Core Standards implementation, Direct Interactive Instruction, Positive Behavior Systems, and more.
Shaw mentors Washington Elementary teachers at all grade levels, and as a Beginning Teacher Support and Assessment (BTSA) program mentor, she works closely with first-year teachers to help them adjust and overcome challenges.
Shaw brings parents into the school community by forging relationships, welcoming them into her classroom, and sharing instructional strategies so they can reinforce concepts with their children at home. Her instruction has made an indelible impact on students. Former students visit to thank Shaw for believing in them; some are even pursuing careers in education because of what they learned in her class.
Shaw earned a Bachelor of Arts in liberal studies from California State University, Long Beach, in 2000 and a Master of Arts in teaching with a specialization in reading from National University in 2007.
"One of my favorite times is when we meet in the morning and we share the question of the day. We have a dialogue that is not..." (read more)