MNPS Voices: Kimberly Batts

MNPS Voices: Kimberly Batts
Posted on 01/20/2022
Kimberly Batts

Kimberly Batts’ kindergarten classroom in West Nashville’s Cockrill Elementary School is colorful, personalized to her students, and communicates a safe and nurturing environment for learning. Her favorite part of teaching early learners is displayed on the walls – the excitement and the development of a love of learning.
Batts has been teaching kindergarten for 22 yearsK batts voices after switching from her original career plan to work in clothing and textiles. But she comes from a long line of educators and found teaching to be her calling, too.

“When I was hired in 1999 in my first classroom role, I was hooked, it was just like magic to me,” Batts said.
The magic she felt stems from the ever-changing attention spans of first-time classroom learners and the resulting need to adjust on the fly. Batts compares her teaching role to putting on a production. She is constantly building off of her lesson plans based on student conversations or questions. Keeping a dynamic pace in the classroom holds their attention and interest.

Another key element needed to lead a kindergarten classroom is patience. Batts’ patience plays a huge role in the foundation of these students’ academic careers. She remembers one student success story in particular. Previously, in a Pre-K classroom out of the district, this student was written off as problematic and slow to learn. Based on recommendations, the parents decided to enroll their child at Cockrill Elementary. Through Batts’ care and extra time working with him after school, the student was accepted into the gifted program and continues to thrive.

“Little by little, we built on our relationship and repertoire, and he started to respond and trust me. We had an understanding,” said Batts. “I stay in contact with the family to this day.”

Classrooms across the district use personalized learning techniques and tiered interventions to meet every student where they are. On top of offering personalized learning, Cockrill Elementary has a tight-knit group of staff who support each other through data meetings and collaboration on teaching and lesson plans to offer a clear, focused and shared mission and vision.

“I hope by the end of this year my class has found their love for learning and made important gains,” Batts said.

Batts has recently tested her own love of learning and taken on the challenge of becoming a real estate agent on the weekends. Her focus remains on teaching, but she has enjoyed getting to know a new field and using her knowledge of the city she grew up in.


Cockrill is an Optional School

Interested in attending Cockrill? Check out the zone finder to see if it is your neighborhood school or apply during the school options period Jan. 24 – Feb. 11. Learn more about what the school offers on their website and call to see if school tours are being offered this spring.

Kindergarten Registration 

Need to know more about kindergarten registration and preparation resources? Visit MNPS’ early learning website. Before the 2022-23 school year, Cockrill will host a kindergarten camp to get students familiar with routines. Follow their social media channels for more

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