Hello, my name is Karen Kauffman and I am the teacher/coordinator for the elementary Gifted and Talented program that we call P.L.U.S. (People, Learning, Understanding, Searching). I work with pull-out enrichment groups in grades 1-3, and I have the great privilege to be able to work with the 4th and 5th grade identified students for an entire day each week. I strive to give the students an interesting, yet challenging curriculum and to encourage them to work to the level that they are capable of. No matter the content, I am always working on thinking skills and helping the students become responsible, independent learners. I also stress the importance of being creative thinkers within every subject or topic that we cover. Some of the units that my students work with include the stock market, algebra, Junior Great Books, inventions, independent projects, People Fair, and more.
I try to work directly with all of the elementary teachers to advocate for and support the high-ability students so that their educational needs are being met and to help the students learn to be self-supportive and active in their own learning. I am also here to provide support and resources to the regular classroom teachers and I strive to connect with and supplement the learning that is done in the regular classes with the work that I do with the students I serve.
I am originally from Anamosa, Iowa. I graduated from Wartburg College in 1988 with a degree in Biology and then went on to the University of Iowa where I received a Master of Arts in Teaching degree in Science Education. I taught junior high science at the former Marquette Jr./Sr. High School in West Point, Iowa for two years. I then obtained my TAG endorsement and taught the Gifted and Talented classes at Mt. Pleasant Middle School for 4 years before moving to the elementary level where I have been teaching the G/T classes since the 2000-2001 school year. I work in all four of the elementary buildings as well as the P.L.U.S. classroom that is housed at the current Public Library building. I have 3 people in my immediate family. My husband, Mark, works at Kauffman Chiropractic; my daughter, Makenzie, is a sophomore at Murray State University where she is majoring in Vocal Music Education; and my son, Kyle, is a junior here at Mt. Pleasant. My hobbies include spending time with my family, reading, running and/or working out, going for walks, and sometimes just sitting and enjoying nature.