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Teacher in the Spotlight: Kayla Frank

By Rachel Kelly


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Kayla Frank, Social Studies

Kopachuck Middle School

 

Kayla Frank teaches seventh- and eighth-grade social studies at Kopachuck Middle School. She, like many teachers, works tirelessly to instill in her 150 students an avid curiosity, a fearlessness to pursue answers to their questions and a love for learning. This means that one of the things she does the most is to inspire and answer questions in her students, spurring on their own educational exploration.“One key life lesson I would convey to my students is the importance of cultivating a sense of curiosity, an active desire to understand others, and a profound love for learning. I like to think that I encourage my students to never stop asking questions, urging them to seek knowledge and challenge assumptions, and fostering critical thinking skills essential for making informed decisions in various aspects of life.”As a social studies teacher, this becomes increasingly important as she seeks to instill in her students an appreciation for culture and history.


Kayla began teaching five years ago, in 2019, on the eve of the pandemic. Her first year of teaching was remote, with modified classrooms afterward, and subsequently has worked in a school under construction. This is her first “normal” sort of year, and she’s certainly making the most of it. Kayla’s day is not only centered around delivering content standards but offering that information in diverse ways to meet the individual needs of her students, as well as offering emotional support to students through social emotional learning. She is incredibly grateful to have the support of staff to ensure a wonderful environment of support for her, and in turn her students.


This year is especially important, as Kayla is serving as the digital innovation lead in her building. This last spring she was a part of the Peninsula School District’s AI research team, contributing to the exploration and integration of AI in schools. “I've been actively incorporating AI into my work and supporting my colleagues in an effort to streamline teacher workloads, while ensuring that all student accommodations and needs are met effectively,” she shares. “I am also working to empower my eighth-graders to learn how to use AI ethically as a valuable resource, rather than a replacement for critical thinking.”According to Kayla, there is a lot of room for how AI can have a positive impact in the school district.


Kayla is a mentor, an innovator, a traveler, and so much more. In short, she’s a teacher. We are infinitely grateful for all she does!

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