- Metropolitan School District of Mt. Vernon
- Mt. Vernon Jr. High School
- Content Area(s):
- Language Arts
"You have to be able to try something and not be afraid to make mistakes."
Currently a sixth grade language arts teacher at Mt. Vernon Junior High School, Julie Kissinger has also worked as a Title 1 reading specialist, a media specialist, and a third grade teacher. Her teaching approach is informed by her pervasive curiosity, and she believes students are best served by developing a growing interest in the world around them. With this in mind, she emphasizes collaboration, creativity and critical thinking in her classroom through alternative design features (e.g., couches and comfortable chairs) and engaging pedagogical methods—such as virtual reality labs, immersive writing experiences, and community-service based projects. Julie looks for ways to build on students’ interests, exemplified in the Minecraft club she started, which ultimately resulted in her and her students presenting at the International Society of Technology Educators. Julie is an avid proponent of professional development and has conducted multiple workshops in her own district, sharing innovative teaching strategies. Julie not only keeps her colleagues up-to-date with research-based practices, but also inspires them through her exceptional commitment to students.