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Kimberly Hill Campbell
Kimberly Hill Campbell had a bit of a bumpy start as a beginning teacher. She taught language arts at Estacada Junior High School from 1979 until 1982. "Then," she says, "I became the statistic: a beginning teacher who left the profession. I was frustrated that I had no voice about the curriculum in my classroom."
So she turned to law and received her JD from Willamette University College of Law and practiced law and taught in the legal assistant program at the community college level until 1986. She returned to teaching at Estacada High School in 1987. "I found my voice as a teacher through teacher research of my own practice and the research and writing of language arts teachers such as Nancie Atwell and Tom Romano."
Kimberly received her MAT degree from Lewis & Clark College in secondary language arts and administration in 1994, and in 1995 she was the founding principal of Riverdale High School, a small high school based on the principles of the Coalition of Essential Schools.
She is currently assistant professor in the MAT program at Lewis & Clark College. Her primary focus is working with beginning teachers who want to be middle school and high school language arts teachers. She also teaches classes in teacher research and language arts methods for inservice teachers.
Kimberly says that she always wanted to become a teacher. "I made my younger sister and her friends play school with me. Teaching language arts allowed me to weave my love of teaching with my love of literature and writing. It was surprising to me to discover that many of my students did not share my passion for literature and writing. Finding ways to invite students to discover the power of words is my continuing challenge."
"I love the complexity of teaching. The more I practice teaching and study the craft of teaching, the more respect I have for the work. Teaching requires a keen eye, an attentive ear, a commitment to knowing each of my students well, a willingness to share myself as a reader and writer, and the unwavering belief that I'll find a way to reach each student if I just keep trying. Although it's not always easy to see, the moment when a student, in middle school, high school, or graduate school, learns something new, is nothing short of magic. It's sheer joy to witness. I also appreciate how teaching provides me with the opportunity to learn from and with students."
Kimberly's book Less Is More was inspired by her son, John, as well as the middle school and high school students who helped her discover that classroom literature could and should include more than just novels. "I drew on the journals and student work samples I kept from my own experiences as a high school teacher, as well my observations in the classrooms of student teachers and graduates. Writing the book gave me permission to lose myself in reading wonderful short texts. I followed up on the recommendations from my own children, my students, and colleagues who generously shared their short text recommendations and teaching strategies."
Kimberly's own professional development is supported by reading and writing. "I am grateful for the authors who have informed and inspired my work by sharing their stories and discoveries as teachers. I enjoy being part of professional development opportunities that provide time for teachers to write and read the stories of other teachers, as well as their own.
Kimberly's greatest hobby is reading, and she is trying her hand at writing a mystery novel. She also enjoys watching movies, shopping, and swimming. She was born in sunny Denver, Colorado, but moved to rainy Oregon. "I found rain was the weather I needed to savor reading and thinking, although I still enjoy summer visits to my beautiful home state of Colorado. She lives with her husband, Michael, and she has two children, John and Kinsey.