Kori Haverstick admits she is a talker, but when it comes to teaching her students she wants them to be the ones with the voice. Haverstick was recently named Coppell ISD’s Elementary Teacher of the Year. Below she talks about the honor, her style of teaching and life outside of the classroom. She has also been named a Region 10 Finalist for Teacher of the Year.
Where did you grow up and go to school?
I spent grade school in Fargo, North Dakota. I moved to central Missouri and spent middle and high school there in a town of 4,000 people and no stoplights called Centralia. I completed my undergraduate degree in elementary education at Missouri State University in Springfield, Missouri. I began my career teaching third grade in 2009 and obtained my Master’s degree in curriculum and instruction in 2012 from Stephens College in Columbia, Missouri. In 2014, my family moved to Texas where I’ve been teaching fourth grade at Pinkerton Elementary for the past seven years. I just graduated with my Principal Certification from UNT in Denton this summer.
How long have you been a teacher?
I just completed my 12th year in education – five years in third grade and seven years in fourth grade.
What went through your mind when you learned that you were named Elementary Teacher of the Year?
I was at first a bit surprised but very overwhelmed. Becoming a District Teacher of the Year was a far-off dream of mine, but for it to actually happen was very humbling. I feel extremely honored.
Do you have a technique that you have found students really respond to?
My teaching approach has always been to challenge and nurture. A teaching style that I’ve encompassed over the past several years has been to teach through student agency. Giving students the ownership and voice and choice in their learning creates a positive environment where engagement is high and there’s plenty of fun!
What word would your students use to describe you?
What are your future career aspirations?
I have really loved being in the classroom, and that is where my heart lies. I am looking forward to continuing my career in administration in the next few years and eventually leading a school as a principal.
What kind of student were you when you were younger?
When I was young, I was a very fast learner and quick worker. I would finish work quickly then help others with their work. Or I spent my extra time talking. I was notorious for having “talks too much” on my report cards. How fitting that I chose the profession where I can literally talk all day long! It was meant to be I guess.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
In my spare time, I enjoy spending family time with my husband Chris, my son Paxton who is 7, and my twin boys, Cale and Casen, who just turned 5. We love going on bike rides, swimming, playing every kind of sport, watching movies together, and sharing experiences together.
What is something your students would be surprised to know about you?
My students always know my extreme fear of spiders, but they may not know that I’m also scared of the dark and thunderstorms.
What’s your favorite TV show?
My favorite TV show is “America’s Got Talent.” I just absolutely LOVE hearing success stories of others and the incredible talents people have. I love celebrating ordinary people. Everyone has gifts and talents that should be celebrated!
What three famous people would you like to meet?
Harriet Tubman would have been incredible to meet just so I could hear the stories she has lived through. I would also like to meet Allyson Felix, the most decorated female Olympian. From becoming a mother and then training to be back at the Olympics takes incredible grit and perseverance. I would love to know what or who inspires her. I would also love to meet Joanna Gaines from the Magnolia and the show “Fixer Upper.” I could definitely use some of her skills with home decorating.