Kat is a science coach and teaching assistant for the University of Washington’s Teacher Education Program. As a teaching assistant and coach, she works primarily in helping support and develop the ambitious and equitable teaching skills of the UW’s teacher candidates. As a doctoral student, Kat’s research interests include:
- How do novice teachers develop their teaching skills and what factors are most influential to their decision-making while planning?
- How do novice teachers benefit from teacher programs with extensive mentoring and opportunities to practice teaching?
- How does the relationship between the teacher candidate, cooperating teacher, and teacher education program influence the way a candidate develops their teaching pedagogy?
- What types of support systems in districts do teachers most utilize and why?
- In a school system, what groups or structures suggest conflicting ideals to teacher pedagogy, and how do teachers decide which group to follow?
Kat earned her B.S. and M.Ed. in Education and Earth Science (concentrated in Geophysics) from Louisiana State University. Throughout the 5-year teaching apprentice program at LSU, Kat taught science in all grades, 1-8 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. In her research project while teaching, Kat began developing a teaching model that emphasized the use of discourse and experience-based learning in the classroom. After earning her degrees, she taught 7th grade science in Nashville, Tennessee and founded the “Outdoor Adventure Club,” an extracurricular club that allowed inner-city students to learn science through overnight outdoor experiences. Later, Kat moved to Houston, Texas and briefly taught 8th grade science in the Houston Independent School District before teaching 6th and 7th grade sciences at The Kinkaid School. Throughout her teaching career, Kat has enjoyed working with students outside of the classroom while coaching swimming and cross-country.