March 23, 2023
This week’s Bison Staff Spotlight is Kristen Walker. As an intervention specialist at the Fairmount Early Childhood Center, Ms. Walker enjoys being a trusted mentor and guide to Beachwood’s youngest learners and their families.
“Many times, preschool is the first step for parents when students are being evaluated for special education services,” she said. “It’s often a family’s first experience with the whole process and understanding their child's unique needs. It’s rewarding to help guide families through that.”
As an educator, Ms. Walker has a creative, playful nature that shines in her teaching. She utilizes a play-based approach to help preschool students develop the foundational life skills they will need for the rest of their lives: how to share and express their emotions, make friends, and become more independent.
“Students participate in child-choice centers every day,” she said. “We are able to incorporate teaching play skills, peer interactions like turn-taking, and target communication during center time. My favorite centers to set up are the sensory tables and the dramatic play center.”
Outside of work, Ms. Walker is a painter, specializing in pet portraits. She incorporates her love of art into her classroom instruction by providing students with daily opportunities to express themselves through drawing, painting, and making crafts.
Teaching at Fairmount has allowed Walker to discover her inner child. “I love when we can snag an opportunity to be less structured and just play,” she said.