Kara Lowry - Three-year-old Teacher
2012-2013 Teacher of the Year
Kara Lowry, a teacher at the Early Childhood Education Center, was named the school’s Teacher of the Year for 2012-2013 by her peers.
Lowry decided to become a teacher because she is very passionate about working with kids and helping them learn to love school.
“I believe I have the most wonderful job in the world because I get the opportunity to explore the world through the eyes of a three year old,” Lowry said. “Watching them marvel at the simplest things or helping them make sense of their wonderings are my favorite parts of my job. I love the challenge of helping each kid feel successful at school and I love getting to celebrate their accomplishments with them and their families. I love the challenge of teaching families how to value their children’s work and helping the kids see themselves as confident and capable learners.”
Lowry’s favorite method of teaching centers on explorations. “This is my favorite method because it places importance on the students' ideas and wonderings,” Lowry explained. “It challenges their understandings and unpacks their thinking surrounding a topic of their choosing. As we explore topics, I find ways to incorporate our learning goals in a natural and meaningful way. I find this is the best way to give students an opportunity to master their objectives because I meet them on their level and help to scaffold them higher in their knowledge. In order to provide these rich learning opportunities for them on a regular basis, I transcribe their conversations, review, and reflect on their work on a regular basis. Using that information, I am able to let them guide their discoveries while providing them with necessary learning opportunities.”
Lowry said, “I believe that the most important issue facing students today is that opportunities for creative expression are being taken away or limited in order to meet certain educational goals. When working with my students, I find that a chance for fascination as they wonder and create theories quickly leads to an innate creative impulse. I believe it is our job as teachers to encourage them to follow these impulses to see how they can stretch and challenge their thinking. These creative experiences encourage children to critically examine and scrutinize their ideas, develop a perspective and opinion, and change their ways of thinking about the world. By encouraging and developing these skills through creative outlets, students are able to master the skills and use them in all other areas of curriculum.”
Lowry started teaching with Union in 2009 after graduating from The University of Oklahoma. “I chose Union because I found a school that aligned with my beliefs about early childhood education,” Lowry said. I am able to focus learning around student interest and I am encouraged by my school to continue challenging myself to find better and more effective ways to do my job to the best of my ability.
“My goals are to be a teacher who helps students feel successful and know they can do anything they put their minds to. I hope to be a teacher students remember and come back to see as they grow older. I want to be a leader within the school building and be someone other teachers can come to for help. I hope to return to school to get my masters so I can continue growing as a teacher and professional.”
Lowry graduated from OU with a bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood education.