Kim Posluns: Building strong relationships with students and families
Year: 2020 — Province: Ontario
Certificate of Excellence Recipient
Maple Grove Public School
Designated early childhood educator in a Kindergarten classroom for children ages 3 to 6 years
Kim exudes caring and compassion for all. She quietly leads by example but is noticed by the ones who need her the most: the children.
Kim Posluns applies her experience as an educational assistant to working with children with special needs in a "comprehensive Kindergarten" in which 30 percent of students are dealing with some sort of behaviour disorder or regressed development.
Philosophy of care
Kim strongly believes that all students are capable and can be successful. She marries her high expectations for each student with patience, a reassuring, firm and consistent approach, and meaningful interactions, so they can develop independence and confidence in their emotional and social skills, and then focus on academics.
Support of child development
- Builds student relationships to build oral communications skills: partners non-verbal students with friends with similar interests, stimulating growth for both as they develop a responsive relationship; many non-verbal students leave Kindergarten with increased verbal abilities.
- Emphasizes outdoor learning to both engage students and help them self-regulate: children get stimulating learning opportunities in an outdoor classroom, often based on their enquires, and are outside for 100 minutes every day.
- Champions wellness by running the Healthy School Committee, which focuses on mental health and healthy eating activities, and gender-based issues; school reached silver medal level under the Ontario Physical and Health Education Association's Healthy Schools program.
- Implements art therapy strategies to help reluctant students begin to take risks in the classroom: for example, she paints students' bare feet—which tickles—and then has them walk around on sheets of paper; the children are amazed at their footprints and excited by the sensory experience.
Involvement with parents, families and the community
- Helps parents accept the realities of raising children with autism or transgender identity or anxiety, helping brainstorm strategies and seeking out community agencies to support families; the relationships she develops with these families last for years.
- Started the Mental Health Partners program at the school to ensure that all staff members have a support person in the building; each partner writes a bit about themselves for Kim to share with the other; partners check in at least once a month; the vice-president reports improved relationships among staff.
Get in touch!
Maple Grove Public School, Simcoe County District School Board
242 Grove Street East
Barrie ON L4M 2P9
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