Karina Elze

M.Ed. University of Minnesota B.A.S in Early childhood studies at Metropolitan
State University

A.S in Early Childhood Education at Minneapolis
Community and Technical College

Kindergarten Teacher

I use culturally relevant pedagogy, bilingual
instruction, and am an expert in early childhood
development. My teaching philosophy has been acquired by my diverse background as a Latina and immigrant. I grew up in Colombia in a low income community. My work as an immigrant teacher made me emphasize the importance of the experience and cultural heritage of children's lives for their early education.

I believe that children need an environment where they value and appreciate their cultural heritage. This way, they can learn and grow happily and safely. Each child has their own way of learning, so I adapt my methods individually.

Teaching at public and private schools, visiting various schools in Latin America, the United States and Europe, and learning about the gap for Latino students entering Kindergarten inspired me to create the ELZE Academy. I realized that empathy and respect for the rights of others must be learned. My experience also helps me understand the needs of my students as well as my own privileges. I want our families to learn from each other, from different cultures and to feel included and proud to be part of the academy.

I will continue to educate myself and hope to continue traveling to learn other methods of teaching and learning. Within the work, I love to encourage the creative side of each student. I enjoy leading artistic activities such as dancing.

Outside of work, I enjoy music, theater and dance, exploring local restaurants and traveling.