Susan Kempton

Susan Kempton has spent the past thirty years teaching in the Denver Public Schools, most recently at Harrington Elementary School. For the past nineteen years, Susan has served as a lab classroom teacher and staff developer for the Denver-based Public Education and Business Coalition. Author of The Literate Kindergarten, Susan presents frequently at national conferences.

Susan received her bachelor's degree in elementary education from the University of Arizona and her master's degree in computer education from Lesley College. Her specialties include early childhood literacy, creating classroom culture, and play-based learning environments.

Both of Susan's parents were teachers, so "learning, words, books, theater, and experiential play were always at the forefront of our discussions. My parents lived their passion," she says. "Teaching was more than a career."

Ironically, it was Susan's own less-than-memorable school experiences that propelled her to become a teacher: "I could create the learning environment that I had missed—full of exploration, wonder, animals, art, and music," she says. "I wanted to show children they have the resources within to accomplish their dreams."

Susan believes professional development should "weed out unnecessary, ineffective approaches, and encourage new learning. New learning is what keeps a teacher's enthusiasm alive; when teachers are passionate about their work, children are engaged, and learning is meaningful."

Let's Find Out! Building Content Knowledge with Young Children is Susan's latest book. Told primarily through children's stories, Let's Find Out! will help teachers build nonfiction vocabulary and content knowledge with young students through reading, writing, and discussion.

Susan grew up on Long Island, New York, but for the past thirty-two years has been a resident of Denver. When not in the classroom, Susan enjoys being outdoors—whether skiing, hiking, camping, or gardening. Other pastimes include yoga, cooking, and fine wine.