Folsom and her family moved to Magnolia in 2015 but her years in elementary education began in 2004 as a kindergarten teacher where she fell in love with cultivating young readers and establishing strong relationships with parents and students.
“One thing I’ve learned over these past 16 years is that kids are kids, whether they are five of 11, they all want to learn in an environment where they are loved, respected, and given the opportunity to be successful,” she said.
“As a kindergarten teacher, I have students come into my classroom at all different levels,” she said. “I found that I can reach and grow more of my students to their highest potential if I teach small groups.”
By teaching in small groups, she is able to focus on skills and individualized lessons while other students are engaged in activities differentiated for their skill level. She recognizes that in kindergarten, skills taught are fluid and always changing, therefore every student learning new skills is a target for her.
“My expectations are that all of my students grow throughout the year,” said Folsom. “I am still learning and adapting my small group instruction to ensure that this style of teaching is beneficial for all of my students even when they are working on station activities.”
Folsom finds value in relating her teaching, the skills, and concepts, to real life. In her kindergarten classroom, she uses real stories to help students connect with the world around them. Additionally, she encourages students to journal or respond based on the connections they have made. During her classroom Writer’s Workshop, students are given the opportunity to write or draw about what is on their mind.
“Using writing to express their feelings and experiences gives me the opportunity to ask more questions and help them learn more about the world around them,” she said.
“Education is an ever-changing career,” she said. “I believe that if teachers follow these ABCs, Always be present, Build strong relationships, and communicate, they can reach any student and help them grow into successful, productive young adults.”
Check out her video highlight here.