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About Me

Throughout my 30+ years in education I’ve worked as a classroom teacher, special education teacher, Reading Recovery teacher, elementary principal, curriculum and staff development specialist, author, speaker, and consultant.

I’ve authored/co-authored two professional texts and one children’s book:

*To Know and Nurture a Reader: Conferring with Confidence and Joy (Co-authored with Christina Nosek – Stenhouse, 2018)

*Simple Starts: Making the Move to a Reader-Centered Classroom (Heinemann, 2015)

*Eat Your Broccoli (Richard Owens, 2005)

In each of the stops along my journey, I’ve been blessed to work alongside scores of other committed and caring educators from whom I have learned so much. Together, we’ve worked to create the kinds of classrooms that I want for all children.

                                     In these classrooms . . .

  • Everyone is a learner, adults and kids alike, growing, evolving and stretching day by day.
  • A kid-centered, strengths-based approach is the driver of all decision-making.
  • Adults look for and celebrate the beauty of each and every child.
  • There are abundant and authentic opportunities for discovery and learning through reading, writing, connection and exploration.
  • Self-directed choice is valued to draw students into deep and sustained engagement.
  • Teachers know and nurture every child through responsive teaching, including conferring.
  • There are ample and honest opportunities for interaction, conversation and reflection about our human diversity.
  • Likenesses and differences are acknowledged, and the contributions of every member of the community are valued.
  • We value practices of self-awareness, self-care, and self-regulation for adults and students alike.
  • Joyful and engaged learning is evident everywhere you look.
  • We remember that this work is much bigger than the big test!

No matter where I’ve been, or what my role, I’ve learned that success in schools takes courage, commitment, clarity, creativity and collaboration.

None of us can do this urgently important work alone.  It is only when we harness our collective energy, effort, and optimism that we’ll be able to create and sustain the vibrant classroom communities needed to equip students for the great journey that lies ahead for each of them.

My own journey has been shaped by all of the rich interactions and experiences I’ve had along the way. Each day shaping me into someone new.

Not only am I an educator, but I am a mother, a grandmother, a wife, a daughter, a sister, a cousin, and a friend.

I love waterskiing because it makes me feel summery and young and free.

I love quilting because it allows me put small, unrelated scraps together in new and beautiful ways.

I love watercolor painting because of how it brings a blank page alive with both vibrancy and softness.

I practice yoga and meditation because of how they help me both center and stretch my mind and body every day.

I read to connect with other people’s thoughts, ideas and emotions.

I write to discover and share my own thoughts, ideas and emotions.

I’m an early morning riser and a late afternoon napper.

I’m crazy for popcorn with lots of butter.

and dark chocolate with pretzels – the darker and saltier the better.

And I love to exchange ideas and practices with other educators,  working with school leaders, coaches, and teachers to build brighter life outcomes for students, one next step at a time.

(This work, of course, can be paired with eating popcorn and dark chocolate.)

Let’s Connect!

If you’d like to learn more, let’s connect!

You can: 

  • Follow me on Twitter @Kari_Yates.
  • Subscribe to KariYates.com newsletter below
  • Use the contact for m to invite me to speak at your event or conferenc
  • Contact me about coming to visit your school for onsite coaching, speaking, demonstration, consultation and/or planning.

The journey is better together!  

Kari

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