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Mathew Kelso

Klickitat (Grade 5 & 6) Teacher

My name is Mathew Kelso, the new Klickitat teacher for 5th and 6th grade students at Gardner School of Arts & Sciences. This school year the students will experience engaging, purposeful, fulfilling lessons in an open and meaningful way. I am looking forward greatly to this school year in which your children will get to practice new skills, take on new challenges, and personal growth.

I am an experienced and passionate educator with a firm foundation in social emotional practices, child-centered collaborative project based learning, and experiential education. I spent several years working at Oregon Episcopal School in a variety of teaching capacities, and spent the unusual 2020-2021 school year primarily with a high achieving cohort of 5th grade students with learning differences. Helping that cohort meet and exceed their learning goals and expectations despite the trials of the most unusual school year they’ll ever experience was very fulfilling for me, but I am excited to return to the classroom and in-person learning this school year.

I take great joy and find amazing fulfillment in inspiring children to learn, grow, and become their best selves. I hope to share this joy with my students this year, and will encourage getting our hands dirty and making mistakes as we figure things out together. Throughout my career I have found as many opportunities to get kids outside and interacting with their environment as possible as a hands-on experiential educator. This will continue with my work at Gardner as I will seek out every opportunity to turn learning into an experience both in and outdoors.

My general philosophy is to embrace mistakes as a part of the learning process. A key component of my classroom will be to encourage taking chances and cherish the mistakes that are made along the way as learning opportunities; and to know that you haven’t failed until you’ve stopped trying. My classroom will be centered around the mindset of Elbert Hubbard, who said that “The greatest mistake you can make is being afraid to make one.”

My goals for this school year will be to cultivate joy and collaboration between students and to ensure all students move on at the end of the year with the knowledge and skills to confidently take on the challenges they will face in the future. I look forward to getting to know you and your families and can’t wait to get started!

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