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Teacher Kimberly Wall works with a student in her third-grade classroom at Gabriel Abbott Memorial School.
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Wall says working in a small school helps build a close connection with students and their families. Gabriel Abbott has fewer than 100 children in prekindergarten through Grade 8.
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Students say she creates a safe and comfortable learning environment.
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Teacher of the Month: Kimberly Wall

By Sabrina DammsiBerkshires Staff
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Kimberly Wall has been at Abbott since 2009 and has taught Grades 2 through 6 before deciding Grade 3 was the right fit for her. 
FLORIDA, Mass. — Gabriel Abbott Memorial School third-grade teacher Kimberly Wall has been selected as the March Teacher of the Month. 
The first season of the Teacher of the Month series runs for the next two months in partnership with Berkshire Community College. Staff, students, and parents are encouraged to nominate a distinguished teacher for the second season. Nominate a teacher here
Wall has been working in the education field since 2005, starting in high school working part time in the summer at local daycares and the YMCA summer camp. 
She was born and raised in Adams and attended Southern New Hampshire University, where she got her bachelor's degree in elementary education with a general special education degree. She attended the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts for her master's degree. 
Wall has been working at Gabriel Abbott since 2009 and became a full-time teacher in 2013. 
During her tenure, she has worked with a wide range of students from Grades 2 through 6. 
"I like this career because we get to interact with all different groups of kids from different backgrounds," Wall said, adding it was helpful to experience a range of grade levels to gauge the best fit.
She found that third grade was a good group because of the students' curiosity and engagement in learning. 
Working in a small school helps Wall build a close connection with her students and their families, she said. Gabriel Abbott has fewer than 100 children in prekindergarten through Grade 8.
Students expressed that they enjoy the activities Wall plans for them, described her as funny, and said she inspires them to address problems in new ways. 
Nominator Lisa Collins said her 8-year-old, Danny, adores Wall's teaching style and looks forward to coming to school every day.
"He's learned so much already this year — including the beginnings of cursive writing, how to differentiate between types of clouds, and most importantly that every mistake is a learning opportunity," Collins said in her nomination. 
"Other parents who I've talked with at sports practices, etc., echo that sentiment and have said how much their kids love being in her class, too."
Daniel said Wall is the "best teacher on Earth" and that she creates a safe and comfortable learning environment. 
Student Kendall Poirot said she is going to miss Wall when she moves on to the fourth grade next year. 
Wall strives to create a positive, safe, and comfortable learning environment for her students so they can be themselves and not worry about what others think. She wants them to trust themselves to be the best they can be.
"We've worked a lot on community this year and working together to help each other. Even though some of our learning styles might be different, it's nice to see them encouraging each other and motivating each other if they're having a hard time with something," Wall said. 
"So, it's nice to see them putting those skills that we've practiced, actually using them and working together to help us all be successful when we're here."
A lot of the teachers in the school are part of the Florida community and get together with the students and their families outside of school through local events and clubs. 
"I think sometimes they are more willing to try new things when they know that we trust them, that they can do it, or they can see that they can fail at first and then not be afraid to try again," Wall said. 
"They know that we're always going to be there for them and whenever they're going through something difficult, we'll be there to help and support them."
Wall has been a "highly regarded" and valuable asset to Gabriel Abbott, Principal Martin McEvoy said. 
"She has many positive attributes, which I think the kids pick up on. She's very prepared. She always delivers world-class, standards-based lessons and more than that, she really interacts with the kids in a way that they know she cares," he said. 
"There's an old saying in education that 'kids don't care what you know until they know that you care' and Ms. Wall definitely embodies that with the way she goes about her practice on a daily basis."
It has been an eye-opening experience working in a small school because when you think of bigger schools and big cities, there are always a lot of kids, while the classrooms at Gabriel Abbott are a little community of their own, Wall said. 
"So you really get to know the kids, know where they're from, their families. When I came here, I realized I wanted to be in a small school. The community is just very friendly and it's nice to be able to get to know them on a personal level," she said.

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