Teacher of the Year

Congratulations Crystal Kitselman!

2020 Semi-Finalist
North Mianus Elementary School, Greenwich

Learn More About Crystal

An educator with the Greenwich Public Schools for thirteen years, Ms. Crystal Kitselman has taught at both Parkway School and North Mianus School. She describes that reflecting on a math unit set her on a path of discovery, which would change forever her life as a teacher, and the lives of her students as active learners.

Ms. Kitselman had a vision, which she named “Pathways.” The vision was for Pathways to replace whole group instruction. Ms. Kitselman recognized that her students had differing abilities and learning styles, and so she created four different pathways to mastery for each of the math standards. Students were able to choose the best pathway for their learning style, and having mastered a standard, they were encouraged to demonstrate their understanding in a way that was meaningful to them. Students were transformed as learners through their participation in the design of their own learning, and consequently, Ms. Kitselman’s role as the teacher shifted completely; she had become a participant alongside her students, rather than the leader. Her discoveries were so powerful that the district adopted this way of teaching and learning – Ms. Kitselman’s “Pathways” were renamed “Playlists”, and are now an integral part of Personalized Learning in the Greenwich Public Schools.

Ms. Kitselman began teaching in 2006 as a grade 4 teacher at Parkway School. Since 2007, she has taught at North Mianus School (NMS) in grades 3 and 4. She in trained in the Orton-Gillingham reading instruction model, a language-based, multisensory program and was a participant in the Lone Pine Educational Foundation team, which trained with math specialist Greg Tang for two years. She has participated i n several curriculum writing projects, isa PBIS Coach, a TEAM Mentor, and serves on the NMS Data Team.

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