Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum

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Earth & Space Science: Session 7

Kathy Price; Bloomfield, New Mexico

Kathy Price"Naaba Ani is a Navajo term for a safe haven or a cave or a place of refuge and these kids — we have a lot of kids from very difficult backgrounds, dysfunctional life outside of school, so when they come here we want them to be — number one, know that the teachers are here for them, that we’re the same all the time, we’ve got some structure to the day but it’s intellectually safe so they feel safe enough to venture out with their thoughts and ideas. And when you get them to that point, then learning is really going to take off.”


School at a Glance:
Naaba Ani Elementary School

  • Location: Bloomfield, New Mexico
  • Grades: K-8
  • Enrollment: 776
  • Students per Teacher: 14.8
  • Ethnicity:
    37% White
    37% American Indian
    3% Hispanic

Kathy Price’s first job out of college was at a preschool for handicapped children in the Four Corners region in New Mexico. She was tossed into the deep end: “I was told, here’s a program, here are some students, we don’t have a curriculum, so do whatever you want. So my first year out, I had to hire a speech pathologist, a physical therapist, another teacher, and an aide, and I had to learn about special education because I didn’t have a background in it.” She believes that experience made her more proactive in the schools she’s worked in. Now, 26 years later, Kathy is becoming a math and science specialist, and will be mentoring new teachers throughout her district.

Kathy has taught fourth and fifth grade the Naaba Ani Elementary School for 15 years, and has worked at Bloomington-area schools for a total of 21 years. She feels strongly about the importance of having a direct relationship with her students: “This is a very diverse class and it’s important for all to feel welcome, to feel that they have to have a personal relationship with the teacher and feel safe enough and secure enough that they know they won’t look stupid. Kids like teachers that like them. ”

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