Kristin Doeden Brings Energy & Experiential Learning
Second Grade Teacher // Worthington School District
A focus on relationships
Kristin Doeden has seen a lot of change in her 31 years of teaching, but her desire to have a positive impact on her students and the Worthington community has not changed.
In her nomination of Kristin, Sharon Johnson shared: “Based on years of experience of teaching in one of the most diverse schools in Minnesota, Mrs. Doeden has honed her craft and developed strong differentiation skills to ensure that each child in her class has the best opportunity to learn according to their own learning styles. She pays attention to the data on each student and uses it to inform the instruction that she plans for each day. Mrs. Doeden continually works to expand her cultural proficiency and to implement strategies that are welcoming and inclusive of all families.”
The Worthington community is strong in industry, which leads many immigrant families to move to the small, rural Minnesota town. Kristin ensures that each of her students are welcomed and celebrated in their cultural background. Her classroom energy is undeniable, and it’s clear that students want to be in her classroom.
Kristin had an idea to transform her classroom into an experiential learning opportunity for her students. As her idea developed, she decided that her work to provide this experience could serve their entire school instead of her single classroom. Through her vision, she sought permission from administration to have a space designated for this purpose and called it the Discovery Room. She worked with the local community to get donations from people and businesses to decorate and build learning opportunities related to the theme and connected with other teachers to ensure the Discovery Room supported the curriculum and grade-level outcomes for grades K-2. She wrote and obtained grants to be able to purchase supplies and to pay for guest presenters related to the themes. Kris collaborated with the principal and a small group of teachers to determine themes of the Discovery Room for the whole year. Her mom even comes in and spends significant time and energy in building, decorating, and bringing Kris’ vision to life.
Another way Kristin has had a district-wide impact is through the paraprofessional licensing program at Worthington schools. Paraprofessionals are really needed within their district (and most districts), and Kristin has driven the program of helping people prepare for and pass the paraprofessional exam, filling a very much needed gap in their district.
“Mrs. Doeden is an exceptional teacher that is truly committed not only to the students in her classroom, but all students in the Worthington School District 518,” says Worthingon Superintendent John Landgaard. “She continually works to build a strong team approach to educating students and is not satisfied with the status quo. She is an outstanding educator that will represent the value of this award.”
MREA honors Kristin as a 2023 Educator of Excellence for her innovation, dedication, and commitment to get results for her students. See more stories of Educators for Excellence.