A little owl told me….by Kelly McRee
I had the pleasure this week of interviewing Kristin Allington, one of our amazing first grade ELA and SS teachers. Kristin co-teaches with Meg in the Bombastic Bobcats! This is her first year at ADS!
What is your favorite classroom ritual or routine that fosters classroom community? I love Morning Circle! It gives us each a voice and a sense of belonging.
If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go? Why? I would love to visit Busan, Korea to see the orphanage where my husband was cared for from infancy to age three. It would also be amazing for my daughter to see South Korea! She is very proud to be Korean.
What is it that you do that gives you the most satisfaction? I love using art and music to enhance academic endeavors. It gives my students more gusto!
Share a happy childhood memory. I’ll never forget the special family Christmas celebrations at my Aunt Vicky’s house. She loves Christmas! The Christmas tree was always flocked to perfection, adorned with crystal ornaments and glittering flora and fauna. She had an impressive Christmas town set up with ice skaters that actually moved and carolers that actually sang! It was a Christmas wonderland over there! I’d spend hours just looking at everything. She lived in a neighborhood famous for its holiday lights. We always ate delicious Mexican food like tamales or mole with rice with a plethora of scrumptious sides and delicate desserts. It was the BEST and it instilled in me a love of whimsy, from which I draw on heavily as an educator of littles. My Aunt Vicky is also a teacher.
What is the most important quality to you in a relationship with someone else? How and why is it important to you? Above all, I think respect is essential in any healthy relationship. Seeing others as valuable and worthy of respect lends kindness and honor to our connections with other people. Without that foundation, little can be built, much less sustained.
What are you grateful for in your life right now? I am floored with gratitude lately! I am so grateful for my amazing students and their highly supportive families! I am grateful for my INCREDIBLE teaching partner, Meg! We have so much in common and it’s so fun working with someone with such high expectations for herself! Not to mention a genius for humor. I am deeply grateful for my friends and family and all the support they render each and every day as I strive to balance the many plates I have spinning. And I am SO GRATEFUL to be a part of the ADS community, a place that honors each student, teacher, and community member. What a privilege!
If you had an unexpected free day and could do anything you wished, what would you do? I think I’d take a day trip somewhere and explore!
What is a favorite memory that you have of time spent in nature? In college I used to take long walks by myself around what was then Towne Lake. This helped me find some much-needed quiet time to just appreciate the trees, birds, turtles, rocks, water, and even the occasional snake. Without those walks, I don’t think I would have made it through all the hustle and bustle of it all.
Who inspires you? One of my lifelong heroes has always been Maria Montessori. She was the first woman to earn a medical degree in Italy. She went on to do amazing things for children and families and dedicated her life to education. I started my career as a Montessori teacher and it gave me a wonderful foundation and a profound respect for all things, seemingly, little.
What’s the last book that you couldn’t put down? The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls. It’s so inspiring to read about people who come from incredibly difficult circumstances and make miracles happen with their lives, despite it all. Effort creates ability! We all hold such potential.