6th grade English/8th grade History teacher
Before she even set foot on campus, Kimberly Kowalski knew that she’d found a home here at the Academy. “I’d heard nothing but wonderful things about the school. About the supportive staff and team atmosphere, the work across curricula, the unique project-based learning activities… it was the environment I’d been looking for. This was reinforced by what my son was hearing from friends who’d attended and raved about their experience. I thought to myself, it must be amazing if the kids are talking about it, too!”
Ms. Kowalski is joining us this year as a 6th grade English/8th grade History teacher. She moved to Ft. Worth a little over a year ago, with her husband and son. She brings to us a truly global (literally) perspective to her role. Her teaching career began in 1998. After receiving her undergraduate degree from Drexel University, she joined the Peace Corps. Her experience overseas provided Ms. Kowalski with more than an opportunity to see the world; she honed her fluency in Russian and Spanish, worked as a TESOL instructor, and returned to the States knowing that teaching was her calling.
Over the course of her career, Ms. Kowalski has taught middle schoolers, young adults and adults. She has also taught English to refugees, as well as children with learning disabilities such as autism. And her travels have taken her to over forty countries; to schools in Kazakhstan, Colombia, Moscow, and more recently, closer to home in Washington, DC and Florida. Along the way, she earned her Master’s Degree in TESOL with a specialization in Curriculum Development from The New School in New York City.
Just before coming to us, the experience she had as a fifth grade teacher cemented her decision to look for something more in teaching, something she knows she has found at the Academy. “The charter school position I held just prior to joining FWA was a great learning experience for me. It made me realize that I was not a good fit in that environment… a prescriptive environment where the teachers and students are simply “’plowing through” the material. I am much more of a facilitator than a lecturer. I want my students to ask questions, understand the importance of thinking for themselves, and to see how what they learn in my classroom applies to other areas. I want them to think about the information that they’re presented instead of filling them up with facts and preparing them for tests.”
When she’s not working, Ms. Kowalski loves to cook and bake, “my favorite things to do,” she says. “My creative side really comes out when I cook. Anything you can get in a restaurant, I can pretty much make at home. I also love the outdoors, playing board games with my family, exploring the most recent educational research, and reading novels that I think might be a good fit for my students.