Kristin Wolfgang: Studies Weekly Spotlight
Growing up, Kristin Wolfgang didn’t dream of being a teacher. But now she doesn’t dream of any other career.
Before heading into the classroom, Wolfgang worked at Borders Bookstore. She heard about a part-time Kindergarten teacher position and tried it out. Her fellow teachers asked her to lead small groups in reading.
“And I was hooked,” she said in an interview with Studies Weekly.
Wolfgang has been teaching for 19 years, and feels it’s not a job, but her calling. She is currently a 5th/6th grade teacher at The Volcano School of Arts and Sciences on the Big Island of Hawaii, but also taught in Austin, Texas.
“I love teaching. I love developing personal relationships with kids and showing them that they can do better. A colleague recently told me that she sees that I accept kids where they are and give them space and confidence to improve,” she said.
That brings her joy as an educator, as well as “creating curriculum, integrating technology and introducing kids to books!”
Of course, even after almost two decades of teaching, she still finds the career challenging. Similar to how other teachers feel, sometimes she stresses about organizing all that is asked of her.
“There are so many things we are asked to do besides just providing instruction and assessment of students. I’m always struggling to collect and report data as well as to revise and maintain my curriculum maps,” she said. “I know that one thing that causes teachers to leave the field is the difficulty of prioritizing our tasks.”
Despite this, she still loves what she does day in and out. One of the things that helps her run her classroom smoothly is Studies Weekly.
“I love Studies Weekly. The articles are engaging and rigorous, and my struggling readers can read along with the articles online. I am also able to integrate reading standards into my Social Studies lessons by using suggestions from the Teaching Supplements. Having the newspapers for the entire year helps me to stay on pace in presenting the social studies curriculum,” she said.
Wolfgang first encountered Studies Weekly after moving from Hawaii to Texas. She used various Texas grade levels there, and ordered the USA publications after moving back to Hawaii two years ago.
She enjoys Studies Weekly so much, in fact, that she also writes 5th and 6th grade curriculum for us. She started writing just one question at a time in 2015, and now she’s working on Teacher Supplements. She was also on the team that recently wrote the Studies Weekly K-2 leveled readers.
Wolfgang juggles a lot, but all of what she does is for the betterment of students. Texas and Hawaii may be vastly different in geography, she says, but for her, it’s all about the kids.
“Kids are kids no matter where you go. I love being with them and helping them learn,” she said.
To learn how you can use Studies Weekly Social Studies in your classroom visit studiesweekly.com.
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