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Teacher Spotlight: Kristen Bell

Congratulations to Ms. Kristen Bell of Chapman P-8, selected as this week’s Teacher Spotlight!

Ms. Kristen BellMs. Bell teaches fourth grade reading at Chapman P-8, and this is her fourth year as a teacher. She was raised in a family of educators, and could not ignore her life's calling to mold the minds of our future leaders. She says that she teaches the best children in the world and that every single year she's experienced as a teacher has been extremely exciting.  When she isn't working hard in the classroom, she enjoys volunteering at her church, the All Nations Christian Center, and teaching musical theatre at Dynamic Expressions Dance Studio.  Ms. Bell is a South Carolina native who is happy to now call Huntsville home.

"Going into Ms. Bell's class, the students are always engaged in learning," says Chapman P-8 principal Paula Thompson.  She adds that "she is interacting with students in such a way that she's building them up - she's very positive with students."  According to Karina, one of Ms. Bell's 4th grade students, "every morning she lets us know that she's happy to be with us."  Ms. Bell says that the biggest key for her classroom success is first and foremost to "bring joy to the classroom, so my kids can get excited."  Ms. Bell uses a system that takes students from whole-group instruction into centers, where they work independently and in groups to master the material.  Students are given some choice about which centers they go into, though some are required daily.  Ms. Bell says it's important that students take ownership of their own learning, and one of her big words in class is accountability.  Augusta, another of Ms. Bell's students, says "I've learned a lot this year because of her."

Ms. Bell started out with Teach for America, but has since completed her two year commitment, spent another year finishing her Masters degree, and says "now I'm here, this is home."

Each week, ETV will showcase an outstanding Huntsville City Schools educator as a feature in the “Teacher Spotlight." Highlighted recipients receive gifts from SchoolCraft and Five Guys.