By JOCELYN GOMEZ
Kimberly Lott is an English teacher at Orangewood High School who is always welcoming to her students. She is known as someone who is real and honest with her students, in a way that is inspiring because she always stands in what she believes. She is unapologetically herself in the best way. Her efforts for students that are struggling don’t go unnoticed.
Q: What is your position or title? Pronouns?
Kimberly Lott: English Teacher; she/her
Q: What are some of the classes you teach or main responsibilities with this position?
Lott: I teach English 11 and English 12 as well as Advisory this year. I have taught all four grades of English since I have been at OHS. I have also taught English at the three middle school levels. My favorite is English 12.How long have you worked in education? 24 yearsHave you held any jobs outside of education? Before I started teaching, I worked as a teller at Bank of America; I also worked at Little Red School House which used to sell teacher supplies and a daycare with infants. I started teaching in 1998 at 23 years old.
Q: What led you to the position you are in today?
Lott: A good friend taught at OHS and she convinced me to transfer over here. She has since retired.
Q: What is one of your favorite parts of your job?
Lott: My students.
Q: What is a challenging part of your job?
Lott: My students. 🙂
Q: What is something others may not understand or know about who you are or what you do?
Lott: Students say I always look depressed, but I’m not. That was the one good thing about masks; no one could tell if I was or wasn’t smiling under it.
Q: Who were early influences for you?
Lott: In high school, I was a TA in the library. I got put in there because I was having a conflict with one of my teachers and that was the only place the counselor would move me. I was so upset that I begged my parents to tell the counselor no and make her put me in another class because the librarian was so mean, but my parents said no. It turned out to be the best part of high school. I clicked with the librarian and we stayed in contact until she passed away. She came to my graduation party and wedding. Mrs. Carver taught me a lot and she had my back when I had another conflict in my senior year. She is the reason I would love to be a high school librarian.
Q: Where did you grow up? What was life like then and there?
Lott: I grew up in San Bernardino. My dad was raised there. It used to be such a nice city, but that is no longer the case.
Q: What were you like as a teenager?
Lott: A pain. My parents would definitely agree with that.
Q: Did you have any mentors or role models growing up? How did they influence you?
Lott: Mrs. Carver-the librarian at San Bernardino High School and Mr. Tetlock at Golden Valley Middle School. Mr. Tetlock introduced me to the game of basketball.
Q: Is there an experience or event that had a major influence on who or where you are today?
Lott: I look back over my teaching career and I think how strict I was when I first started because I thought that was how I was supposed to teach. I wasn’t flexible at all. I have learned so much since coming to OHS that has impacted my teaching style. I have learned respect goes both way. Sometimes the lesson just isn’t working and that is ok. You’re only as good as your word. The connection you make with your students is worth so much more than a grade. My students are worth fighting for.
Q: What advice would you give your teenage-self?
Keep your mouth shut. Once you say something, you can’t get it back. And thank goodness there was no social media back then.
Q: Do you like to travel and What notable places have you visited?
Lott: I have been to Mexico and Canada. I have been to multiple states during my life.
Q: What music do you like?
Lott: Country and early rap
Q: Would you be willing to share a little about your family and/or pets?
Lott: I have two kids. Emily is 21 and Justin is 18. Both are currently in college. My husband and I have been married for 24 years, but I have known him since I was a teenager. He used to ride his bike down my street to visit his girlfriend and we became friends. I have two dogs I adore–Rufus and Avery and a cat, Shadow, who doesn’t like me and that is just fine with me.
Q: Do you have skills, interests or hobbies that you would like to share? What do you enjoy doing most with family and friends?
Lott: I enjoy camping, but haven’t done it in a long time. I won’t camp in a tent and I don’t have an RV so that rarely happens.
Lott: What is a goal you have?
Lott: I would really like to be a librarian at a high school or middle school. It is scary to me because I have never tried that and, in the back of my head, I wonder what would I do if I did not like it and I couldn’t come back to OHS.