Spring Creek Middle School teacher Kim Jenson recognized for her innovation in the classroom
Congratulations to Spring Creek Middle School’s Kim Jenson for winning the UCET21 Innovative Teacher Award! This award was given by The Utah Coalition for Educational Technology (UCET). UCET’s purpose is to bring people together who strive to use technology for educational purposes. The UCET Innovative Teaching Award recognizes teachers who have done outstanding work integrating technology into their classrooms.
Jenson teaches 7th-grade language arts and the writing extension of language arts at Spring Creek Middle School. This is her ninth year of teaching and her third year at Spring Creek. Jenson received her bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Utah State University and her master’s degree in elementary education from the University of Phoenix.
Jenson stays up-to-date and relevant with her students by making sure the learning environment is not only simple but engaging. She uses various forms of review games such as Kahoot and Blooket, where students race against each other to answer questions correctly and quickly, to gain points. Jenson believes that competition encourages them to be more accurate and take their learning seriously while also having fun. “If you can keep them engaged, then they will learn whatever you are trying to teach them,” she shared. “Keep it simple and everyone will be able to understand. Focus on doing what’s important -- learning the content.”
Jenson explained that it is easier for students to succeed when things are kept simple; students shouldn’t have to wonder how to access specific files or search for instructions on how to do assignments. To make sure there is a clear structure and that no one misses anything, students can find everything that Jenson teaches in the classroom on the Canvas page. Jenson also does live and recorded Zoom classes for her students who are absent or in quarantine. When she is teaching over Zoom, Jenson shares her screen with her students so they can see the classroom and feel like they are there. Her document camera is also set up so that students participating over Zoom can see exactly what she is writing and what the rest of the class is seeing.
"After meeting with several district leaders and deliberating about who would be nominated for this award, it was unanimous that Kim should be our district nominee,” explained Andrew Clark, the CCSD Digital Teaching and Learning Specialist. “I am happy that I got to nominate one of the phenomenal teachers here in the Cache County School District for this award because UCET is a great organization that works to promote innovative teaching in schools throughout Utah."