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What's Up Magazine

Kathy Poerstel

Jan 09, 2017 03:10PM ● By Cate Reynolds

Kathy Poerstel

The Alpert Family Aleph Bet Jewish Day School, Annapolis


Years teaching at Aleph Bet: 16

Currently teaching: 1st–2nd grade general studies, K–5th PE, and serves as Technology coordinator

Proudest teaching moment: “Roughly nine years ago I had a student who was struggling with several severe learning and behavioral issues. I began tutoring her in reading after school when she was in first grade and formed a wonderful connection with her. When she moved into my second grade class our relationship grew as I continued to accommodate her as much as possible. Despite all of the accommodations, by the end of the year it was clear that she needed more. I encouraged her parents to seek a school that could offer her more. I continued my relationship with her family and six years later I attended her middle school graduation. In her speech she thanked me for not giving up and helping her to find an environment where she could learn and thrive.”

Teaching philosophy: “Versatility and differentiation are the two core values that drive my professional life. I thrive in an environment where I can teach a variety of subjects and adapt my instruction to meet the individual needs of my students.”

Toughest challenge facing educators: “Funding for sure. There are so many resources available today that could make a huge difference in the classroom, but schools work on such tight budgets, it is often impossible to attain the resources we need for our students. Two years ago, I helped to raise funds for the school through my PE program’s Track-a-Thon to purchase a climbing wall for our gym. This year the money was allotted for a Promethean smart board. I also initiated a holiday shopping bizarre this year to help raise funds and community awareness of our wonderful school.”

I have had the privilege of working with Kathy Poerstel for the past five years. There are two things that impress me about Mrs. Poerstel, the first is her versatility. She not only teaches a first and second grade combined classroom that loops each year, she also teaches Physical Education for the school and serves as our Technology Coordinator. During the school day Mrs. Poerstel changes hats like a pro and never complains about her hectic school schedule. The second quality is her passion and devotion to both our school and her students. Working at a small school has many advantages for staff; however it can also be very taxing. I have never heard Mrs. Poerstel complain when asked to take on an event or a project. In fact she seeks them out.” —Sarah White, Head of School

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