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An Interview with Centennial Academy Teacher Lauren Kohos
An Interview with Centennial Academy Teacher Lauren Kohos

Introduce yourself and the courses you teach. What, in your opinion, is the best thing about being a teacher at Centennial Academy?

My name is Lauren Kohos, and I teach Visual Arts, Ethics and Religious Cultures, and Integrative Project.

In my opinion, the best thing about being a teacher at Centennial Academy is that we teach in a way that reaches all students. We have a truly inclusive approach to teaching that makes our students succeed.

What are the top 3 things that you think make Centennial Academy unique?

Something that makes Centennial Academy unique is our consistency of routine throughout the school. Each course has an opening introductory activity that gets students self-started. In Visual art we have the daily doodle. In ERC students complete an ethical question of the day. Integrative project has students research a new creator each day.

Another thing that makes our school unique is that we don’t only teach our students the curriculum; we also teach them the tools and strategies for learning. Students are taught active reading strategies and are given graphic organizers to help them be more autonomous learners.

Something else that makes our school unique is our level rooms and access center. When students need extra help, a break or a quiet place to learn students can come to these places. They are equipped with spaces to learn as well as stationary bikes for students to spend some energy.

Tell me about one of your favorite teaching memories/story?

My favourite memory at Centennial is when we held our art show last year. Seeing all of the students enter the transformed cafeteria was an exciting moment. Students were given the opportunity to showcase their work to family and friends. It was truly wonderful to see the students so proud of their accomplishments in the arts.

What do you think your students like the most about you?

I think that what my students like the most about me is that I take their interests into consideration. When planning lessons, I am always thinking about what that group is interested in learning. By making their themes and topics relatable, students become more engaged in the lessons.

Describe a typical classroom experience or a typical day at Centennial?

A typical class at Centennial has a strong routine. The class always begins with an opening activity to reinforce learning. Students are then given instructions and ample time to complete an in class assignment. The last 5 minutes of class are always dedicated to preparing students for their next class.

Describe in your own words the Centennial Academy Approach and how UDL really works.

At Centennial Academy, students are taught to be autonomous and resilient learners. Assignments and projects are created in ways that can help students self-launch. With clear and concise instructions, and step by step assignments, students are given the tools to work independently. All course materials are accessible via paper copy, and online, as well as we provide oral, written and visual instructions. With UDL we create course materials that are easier to read and understand for all students. We use clear sans serif fonts, and high contrast PowerPoint presentations. All students are given tools such as WordQ, reading strategies and graphic organizers to help them learn. At Centennial Academy, we make sure to reach ALL students.