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Lifelong Learning

Probstfield Teacher of the Year helps preschool students learn through play

May 24, 2018

Preschool teacher Abby Klang believes the best way to learn is by doing.

“I believe in teaching young children not only the skills to succeed in school, but also life skills. These life skills, along with all other academic and non-academic skills, are best taught and learned through play,” said Klang, Jump Start Preschool teacher and this year’s Probstfield Teacher of the Year. “As children are playing they are developing reading, thinking and problem-solving skills, as well as developing large-motor and fine-motor skills.”

Klang graduated from Minnesota State University Moorhead with a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education. She is in her fifth year as a Jump Start teacher at Probstfield Center for Education. Jump Start is a collaborative preschool offered through Community Education and Early Intervention Services, both programs of Moorhead Area Public Schools. Additionally, Klang is a member of Minnesota Reading Corps, which provides evidence-based literacy interventions and data-based assessments to children ages three to grade three, and she is a member of the building leadership team.

According to Lauri Winterfeldt, director of Community Education for Moorhead Area Public Schools, Klang is a great representative of the early childhood teaching profession.

“Abby’s classroom is a beautiful example of smiles, productive activity, warmth and play,” Winterfeldt said.

Klang has always enjoyed being around young children and loved to play teacher while growing up. She chose early childhood education after reflecting on her own experiences with education.

“I knew then that I wanted to give children and families a foundational, rewarding and positive experience when they started school,” Klang said.

Klang works to provide a safe and positive environment where students can learn.

“The most important part of providing a safe environment is to build a positive relationship with each student,” she said. “Once a positive relationship is established and the student and teacher respect and trust each other a great amount of learning may occur.”

Winterfeldt said Klang has a welcoming smile to greet her students, team members and colleagues.

“Abby works with team members to make sure that all of the students are supported, cared for and learning in a meaningful way,” Winterfeldt said.

Klang appreciates working with the other teachers and staff.

“I love to share any ideas or lessons I have with other teachers and staff because we are all teachers who want to have successful students,” Klang said. “No one person can teach a child by themselves.”

Photo: Abby Klang, Jump Start Preschool teacher and this year’s Probstfield Teacher of the Year, plays a game of “Don’t Let the Wall Fall Down” with students to practice letters, motor skills and taking turns while they stack a wall of blocks.

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