Name: Kayla McElwee (Ms. Mac)
Hometown: Chicago, IL
Years teaching: 1
Favorite activity/subject when you were a student in the grade currently teaching: Language Arts! I eventually majored in English at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).
Favorite thing about San Diego: There are a lot fewer tornadoes and snow storms than in Chicago!
Tell us about your family: I have been married for four years to my husband, whom is a Sergeant in the United States Marine Corps. We have an adorable puppy together. We enjoy visiting my parents at their lovely beach house in Santa Cruz, as well as traveling to Chicago to see my extended family.
How do you nurture inquiry with your students? I encourage my students to ask questions, and then I encourage them to search for their own answers. In my classroom, this can be achieved in many ways, including the Wonder Wall, partner talks, and student-led investigations.
Hobbies or how you like to spend free time? I am very active and enjoy walking my dog, going for long runs, and traveling abroad. My husband and I recently traveled to South Africa to go shark cage diving, sandboarding, and paragliding! Also, I’m an avid reader and love burying my nose in a good book.
Travel or experiences as an IB Teacher: I student taught at Albert Einstein Academies (South Park) in a kindergarten classroom. They have a fantastic IB program, and I look forward to sharing my experiences with McKinley.
Why do you like working at McKinley?: I like working at McKinley because there is such a positive vibe among the staff and students. Everyone here loves learning and wants the best for the students!
A word of advice/encouragement for students: I always tell my students to just do their best. Their best is always good enough.

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