In Kimberly Freeman's Latin world language classes at Lexington Middle School, students are not only acquiring critical knowledge of a driving language for so many other subjects, but they are also being shaped into global citizens.
Freeman frames her lessons and assessment practices around collaboration and critical thinking, and has helped guide the district to a shift in performance-based curriculum for world languages. She developed a new system of proficiency assessment using a scaled model based on performance rubrics, self and external assessments, and Socratic seminars.
Freeman propelled the once-struggling Latin program to high enrollment at the school, and expanded its reach to 23,000 students districtwide through virtual courses. She has opened the door for learners to discover an ancient language and culture though a blended curriculum that links to modern tools and learning goals. This includes capitalizing on student interests of Harry Potter and mythology as well as The Hunger Games. Another example is having students read a Latin wedding song to understand the importance of children in Roman families, then write letters in Latin to Roman children. She also designed and instructs a new project-based learning course called 702 North Lake (the address of Lexington Middle School), in which students use social media tools to confront local and global issues.
Freeman's students are thriving with work beyond their years. They routinely score above the national average on the National Latin Exam and outperform high school students in world language courses. Her Latin academic team placed first at the South Carolina Certamen Competition in spring 2014.
As chair of the world language department and teacher leadership team, communications officer for the school and frequent presenter at local and national conferences, Freeman has made a significant impact on teachers and students alike. Colleagues follow her example, especially when it comes to building respectful relationships with students, and her insight is sought out by peers and administrators.
Freeman is an International Baccalaureate Middle Years certified teacher. She serves as a member of the American Classical League, National Junior Classical League, South Carolina Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, South Carolina Foreign Language Teachers Association as well as the district and state world language curriculum teams, the state standard writing team and the state Foundations in School Leadership (FSL) program. Her strategies are leading the way toward producing plurilingual graduates, a key goal of the district.
Freeman is a product of Lexington County School District One from kindergarten through high school and a graduate of Lexington Middle School. She earned a 2004 Bachelor of Arts in education with a classical languages concentration from Furman University. Freeman is scheduled to complete her master's in educational leadership at the University of South Carolina in May 2016.
"They [the students] remind me that I'm human. You can't teach middle school and not know that. There are a lot of children that walk..." (read more)
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