I, Kim McCrary, am a nerd. My nerdiness is not a trait I inherited from my parents, but acquired through education. From early childhood, I have always been excited about learning. The overwhelming excitement I had (and still have) was not sparked solely by any curriculum, but by my teachers. My nerdiness developed from their ability to present, explain, and instill school and life lessons. The love and inspiration received from my teachers are what made me the nerdy educator I am today.
I was born and raised in the city of Saint Louis, and was educated in the Saint Louis Public Schools. My seventh grade teacher, Mrs. Morrow, was the first teacher to really inspire me. Her classroom fused the endearment of a parent with the personal life lessons of a friend. It was Mrs. Morrow who taught me the qualities of a professional woman and how I should never settle for being average. My love for mathematics formed within the walls of Mr. Stadtlander’s Advanced Algebra class. His class was themed around challenge and stamina. Mr. Stadtlander trained me (through real numbers, polynomials, and linear equations) how to embrace and conquer challenges whenever they arose. These were the teachers who expanded my nerdiness. They were the driving force in inspiring me to pursue a degree in education. However, once I began my college career at Washington University in Saint Louis, the desire to make lots of money upstaged the desire to become an educator. With a new ambition, I majored in engineering and earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Systems Engineering.
After college graduation, I had several occupations ranging from computer operator and programmer to selling insurance. I worked in a plethora of fields (none of which included systems engineering), made significant accomplishments, but was never fulfilled. After soul-searching, I realized that my excitement for learning never left, but I had silenced my inner nerd. This realization led me to pursue my teenage dream of becoming a teacher, and I have never looked back.
I received my teaching certification at the University of Missouri – Saint Louis and my career in education started in 2000. I taught ninth grade Algebra at Beaumont High School. I transitioned to the Hazelwood School District in 2007, teaching eighth grade Mathematics at Southeast Middle School. In 2015, I transferred to Central Middle School, teaching seventh grade Mathematics. In 2019, I transferred to North Middle School, where I currently teach seventh grade Mathematics.
I became a teacher because I wanted to be in a role that directly impacts our youth. Young people are easily impressionable, and in today’s society, there are so many distractions that lead them away from acquiring a nerdiness of their own. My classroom activities guide students through different learning processes and impress upon them the importance of furthering their education. I encourage the performance of good deeds and instill values such as honesty, respect, responsibility, and kindness. I am a crusader that believes in them and reinforces the notion that they can do great things in life.
Like the teachers who inspired me, I promote the development of nerdiness in my students. My greatest accomplishment is their success. Most students have a natural aversion towards math. Math, to them, is a foreign language. I have learned from experience that holding them to higher standards drives them to reach their highest potential.
My greatest contribution is to challenge my students’ thought processes. Students fail to realize how math is used outside of the classroom. In their eyes, math is only useful when counting money. I present math concepts in real-world contexts, highlight careers that use these concepts, and show how math extends beyond the classroom walls. I am very passionate about developing their mathematical nerdiness.
In my spare time, I enjoy walking outside, traveling, remodeling and redecorating homes, and baking. I collect Mickey Mouse paraphernalia, $2 bills, wheat pennies, and various bicentennial and dollar coins. I have two adult daughters and four granddaughters. I live and work in North Saint Louis County.