Kai Tindall

Kindergarten Teacher at Lake Washington School District

Seattle

Class of 2014, Integrated Studies major, Master’s of Teaching


Tindall loves working with children in kindergarten, and she strives to fill them with not only academic learning but also with character building and social-skill development. She says her goal is always to teach the whole child, so she builds in learning experiences outside of the curriculum as much as possible. Outside of work, Tindall serves as a gymnastics coach for SPU’s recreational and competitive team program. She is also a judge for youth gymnastic competitions around Washington state.

How does your time at SPU connect to what you’re doing today?

My time at SPU really solidified my passion for teaching, and my love of gymnastics. I was also able to hone in on my elementary school teaching dreams. SPU was where my personal mantra, “Teach to Inspire” was born, and that is a daily reminder for me to go above and beyond to instill curiosity in my students. For gymnastics, it took competing in college and being part of an amazing group of young women to love to sport on a whole new level. If I had not done gymnastics at SPU, I would probably not be involved in the sport today.

Which SPU faculty or staff member made a difference in your education?

SPU has a fantastic support system for their budding teachers. Bill Woodward, my advisor, helped me not only to map out my path at SPU, but he also supported my athletics career. During my master’s program at SPU, Emily Huff was an inspiration to me to be the kind of teacher I had always wanted to be. In addition to that, she gave me so many real-world tools to help me in the classroom on a daily basis. In the world of athletics, I would not have enjoyed my time or have been as successful without the help of my coaches: Laurel Tindall, Carly Dockendorf-Ruggerio, and Sarah Jean Marshall, as well as Athletic Trainer Jason Durocher. They kept me striving to reach my best, and helped me stay healthy enough to do it.

What advice would you give to current SPU students?

Keep an open mind to the opportunities that might present themselves, whether it be for learning or for fun, because saying yes to those opportunities can lead you down a path that is more fulfilling than you could have imagined.