Kathy Carroll: Oswego Teacher In The Spotlight

OSWEGO, NY – Kathy Carroll’s favorite part of teaching is making her students feel “treasured and successful.” She says that she wants her students to experience “great growth and happiness.”

Carroll is the teacher in the spotlight this month for the Oswego City School District.

Kathy Carroll
Kathy Carroll

Carroll has been a kindergarten teacher at Charles E. Riley elementary school since 1995. Before that she taught at St. Paul’s for 20 years.

A native Oswegonian, she attended SUNY Oswego for both her undergraduate and graduate degrees.

The kindergarten teacher integrates technology into her lessons each day. She uses the SMART Board for everything, starting with the lunch count so that students can see their names.

“They learn to read each other’s names this way fast!” she said.

In the area of literacy, these kindergarten students manipulate letters and pictures to make associations.

Carroll has developed lessons that turn the printed word into text and students can move sentences around for sequencing.

“Student involvement has made the last few years produce the strongest math students I have ever had” she said. “To amaze a child and capture attention all day long is totally doable when this wonderful technology is employed. I remember thinking, ‘will I be able to learn this?’ I adore the smart board and can’t remember life without it!”

She also uses BookFlix, a web-based program to which the district subscribes, supporting reading with fiction and nonfiction selections with words that light up as they are read.

Carroll is now using the new flip cameras so that her students can record fairy tale retellings, which allows them to integrate literacy, music, and technology.

In mathematics, she makes use of district-purchased math games, and is fortunate to be able to use the computer lab with support from the AIS math teacher.

In the computer lab they can work on required math skills at their own level with guidance from the teachers.

Carroll understands how technology has changed over the years.

“The report card of the past seems medieval, (with its triplicate carbon paper). After using our method of tech based assessing, I can report with so many more details on each child,” she said.

She believes that the integration of technology into her curriculum has been a motivating factor for her to create engaging lessons for the SMART Board that raises expectations for her students.

She said, “The kindergartners of today are very high tech learners! Children are geniuses, learning more rapidly that adults ever could.”

Married to Mike Carroll they have two adult children, Michelle and Michael, as well as close family members, all in Oswego.

She is also busy training a new beagle puppy.

She is as busy outside of school as she is inside.

In her free time she enjoys swimming, cross country skiing, knitting, sewing, reading, cooking, and baking.

She loves music and is currently learning about impressionist art.

Carroll said, “Technology allows a veteran teacher like me to stay fresh for the kids, and to teach them how they learn best with technology. It challenges me to keep learning new things and changing, and that is important to keep young ideas, and fresh approaches, to meet each individual’s needs.”

She adds, “I think the fact that I incorporate so much art and music with their learning brings the children into a lovely world where the arts and technology collide,  producing the most intelligent, observant and able students!”

For all that she has done to integrate technology in her classroom and to educate, engage, and excite the students at Charles E. Riley, Carroll is being recognized as the Teacher Spotlight for September 2010.