Moffat County kindergartners not to be underestimated says Sandrock teacher Megan Bell
CRAIG — They may be small, but kindergarten students can also be mighty.
“Never underestimate what kindergartners can accomplish,” said Sandrock Elementary School Kindergarten teacher Megan Winkelblech, who uses her maiden name, Bell, in the classroom. She has taught kindergarten at Sandrock Elementary School for the past four years.
The Craig Press recently caught up with the educator to learn more about her background, experience, and philosophy of education.
Craig Press: What were you like as a student?
Megan (Bell) Winkelblech: I relied on effort and lots of practice to get good grades. Academics did not come easily to me, and my background as a struggling learner helps me connect better with my students. I had teachers who made the difference, and I try to pay it forward every day.
Have you taught in other places besides Moffat County? If so, where?
I began my career in Moffat County.
Why did you choose Moffat County?
When I visited Sandrock, I recognized an incredibly welcoming and supportive community. I thought, “What better place to start a teaching career!”
How have your education, training, and work experiences qualified you for your role?
I graduated from The University of Colorado, Colorado Springs, with a degree in elementary education, which included a full year of student teaching in a primary Montessori classroom for ages 3 to 6. It was an excellent introduction to early childhood and strong academic rigor. I took a kindergarten position when I was hired by Moffat County School District and haven’t looked back.
What do you do if your students don’t “get it?”
I find a variety of activities, games, and authentic experiences for students to practice skills so that the road to mastery does not feel repetitive.
If a visitor came to your classroom or office and took a photo, what would he or she see in that photo?
You would see students learning with me or independently in differentiated small groups, doing a task or game, giving feedback to one another, and uploading pictures or videos of their work on SeeSaw — an online portfolio.
How do you measure your success as an educator?
I love collecting data throughout the year to see how much my students have grown. When I see students solving problems by themselves, holding themselves accountable, and taking on challenges, I am beyond proud of the citizens they are becoming.
How are you involved in the community outside school?
I volunteer as a running buddy for Girls on the Run each fall.
Contact Sasha Nelson at 970-875-1794 or snelson@CraigDailyPress.com.
Moffat County CSU Extension Office is hosting the free “One Seed, One Community” program, which seeks to unite community by encouraging gardeners of all skill levels to plant, grow, cook, and share a featured vegetable every year.