Kyle Weinmann
Kyle Weinmann
Kyle Weinmann's intervening in the middle.

"I'm mainly a reading and math interventionist," said Kingsland Middle School's Weinmann, "so the staff is helping me out, getting materials, freshening me up on that. I'm working with fourth through sixth graders, and it's tentative, based on the needs of the students. For now, I'm going into mainstream classrooms, and if I see a student who needs one-to-one help, I help, or they come in here in groups of eight or so and work together with me."

The interventionist, or a teacher who assists students in understanding concepts that they might not grasp, is a new part of the Kingsland Middle School staff, and his position is made possible through a grant that the district chose to use to help students meet their educational potential. While his position may not be permanent due to it being funded through that grant, the Rochester native is pleased to be at Kingsland after completing his college education. He graduated from Century High School in Rochester in 2008, then went on to attend college at St. Cloud State University, where he first studied nursing.

"I initially went to school for nursing. I was thinking I'd be a nurse because I'd worked in the kitchen at a nursing home in Rochester, and I was also a nursing assistant. I got into my classes and realized that this was not for me, so decided to get my degree in secondary social studies education," he said. "Nursing was my first choice, and teaching was my alternative, but I'm so glad I made the choice. I didn't want to spend my day in front of a computer, either - I wanted to be up and about with people."

He did his student teaching at Stewartville High School, and this is his first venture as a full member of a school staff. He's noticed that the difference between teaching ninth graders and middle school students encompasses more than the students just being shorter - they're excited to meet him and glad to have his help when they're struggling with reading or math, or his favorite subjects, history and social studies.

In addition to being allowed to join Weinmann when identified as being in need of assistance, students may also use their recess time to keep ahead of troubling math and reading concepts.

"I was specifically hired to help with reading and math, but if they need to catch up with something else, they can come in here so I can help them out," he explained. "This gives them the space to do that. I sit at a table with them and work them through their problems and have discussion with them. It's much more personal than if they're in a classroom of 30 students."

Weinmann joined the staff on Jan. 21 and looks forward to working with them for as long as he's with the district. "It's all the staff working together...the whole staff coming together to do what the students need. Every building and every district I've worked in functions differently and gives me new experiences. Every staff member I've worked with here has given me new methods and ideas for teaching."

He'd like students' parents to know that he's "continually learning...that's the big thing," so he's interested in what knowledge the pupils share with him. "I can never learn enough, and I find that I never know enough. I like to read a lot of nonfiction, history, listen to MPR." He spends his spare time "hanging out with friends and family as much as I can," listening to music and doing various different learning projects with which he's fascinated.

"There's always something to do," he concluded.