Episode 144: Rebekah Kim, Principal of Midway Elementary School

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Rebekah Kim, Principal of Midway Elementary School, talks about her family background, why she’s so passionate about low income communities and socio-economic change and diversity initiatives in elementary and high school level. We also talk about some of the blended learning initiatives that she’s a part of at Highline Public Schools.

Guest Bio:

Rebekah KimRebekah Kim is the principal of Midway Elementary School in Des Moines, Wash. She has been an elementary principal for ten years in the Highline School District, centering her instructional leadership work around the core values of diversity and equity. In her current role she has led her staff and community through an instructional shift using a blended learning model that provides students access to content with technology.

Rebekah serves on the Association of Washington School Principal’s Diversity and Equity Board, collaborating with principals across the state on how to provide their colleagues with resources to narrow the opportunity gap for all students.

(source: info.k-12leadership.org)

Show Notes:

(02:31) Rebekah’s background

(04:07) I’m just curious in the differences potentially in school systems. You were talking about navigating the American school system. Do you have any sense in the differences in the rigor and curriculum?

(05:01) So were your parents pretty much middle-class, lower middle class when you came over? What sort of socio-economic background did you have?

(08:00) Overview of Midway Elementary School. Why don’t you give a sense for the challenges, the benefits of the demographic, and what the students are dealing with there?

(10:43) So how do you, at Midway, address those really important issues like you said, poverty and trauma?

(12:41) As far as the learning model, it’s obviously highly unique in using this blended learning station rotation model. Tell us about that and how that impacts all those different factors as well.

(14:33) How long has it been since you implemented this learning model? And also, some of the Eric Jensen strategies and all that sort of stuff.

(15:43) What sort of data at the administrative level have you seen from 5 years ago to today as far as teacher engagement, student engagement, student improvement and learning. I’m always curious what the data is telling us.

(17:44) Shawn Rubin is talking about the different things that you do from a teacher engagement perspective that gives teachers really intentional time to explore and learn together, kind of building this community of teachers for buy-in, so that they are constantly engaged. Can you tell us more about that and how you continue to evolve the teacher community?  

(22:28) What book has most influenced you and why?

The Pedagogy of Confidence by Yvette Jackson

(24:35) Do you watch documentaries? And if so, do you have one that has most impacted you?

Waiting for Superman

(24:56) If you could have dinner with one person you admire, past or present, who would it be and why?



Midway Elementary School website: http://www.highlineschools.org/midway


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