Professor Kristin Mathews has worked in both the private and public education settings. She began her teaching career at a Christian school in Homewood, Ill., right after graduating from Wheaton College and earning her Illinois teaching certification. While teaching 3rd grade, she began working on her master’s in educational leadership. During this time, she transitioned to a public middle school in Matteson, Ill., where she taught speech and theatre.
During her time instructing students in speech and theatre, she developed a drama program and directed and produced theatrical productions at the school. At one point she simultaneously coached the girls’ basketball team while producing the winter musical at her school. Through her work toward her degree in educational leadership, she partnered with the school leadership team to pilot an RTI program. After earning her master's degree, she served on the school improvement team and the district’s Teaching Institute Planning Committee.
After several years as an elective teacher, Professor Mathews transitioned to an 8th grade English language arts classroom. She completed training in Gifted Education with South Cook Intermediate Services to help launch her school district’s first middle school gifted education program. While teaching gifted students, she also put her training in co-teaching to good use as the English language arts teacher for her grade level special education students.
She worked to complete her National Board Teacher Certification through a partnership with Illinois State University where she operated as her school district’s teacher liaison for the National Board Resource Center in Normal, Ill. During this time, she also trained to become a certified teacher evaluator through the Illinois State Board of Education.
During her years in the K-12 setting, Professor Mathews participated in professional development training for topics such as “Grant Writing,” “Strategies to Develop a Growth Mindset,” “Restorative Discipline,” and “Teacher Mentorship.” Kristin has served as a mentor teacher to new teachers, team leader, and conducted various presentations for her school district including topics such as, “The Co-taught Classroom,” “Incorporating Technology into Instruction,” and “Differentiation Made Easy.”
Prior to coming to ONU, Professor Mathews received her school’s first ever Eagle Award for her outstanding classroom strategies, leadership and contributions to the school community. She also piloted her district’s first ever virtual summer school as the coordinator for the middle school program. Through this experience she was able to use her knowledge of data assessment, instructional technology, and teacher leadership to guide staff and students through standards-based learning during the Covid-19 Pandemic.
Professor Mathews teaches introductory education and ELA & social studies methods courses at Olivet. She believes that working with pre-service teachers provides her with an opportunity to mentor and encourage a new generation of educators to be the hands and feet of Christ in the schools where they will serve.
When she is not teaching, she enjoys spending time with her husband Jerry and their three kids, Madelyn, Micah and Mya. They are active volunteers in their church’s children’s program and enjoy traveling as often as possible.