Instructor Spotlight: Ann Quigley
Ann Quigley, Instructor of Kumon Math and Reading Center of Kirkwood
As we sat down with Ann Quigley, she couldn’t help but smile as she reflected on the past 25 years of being the Instructor of Kumon Math and Reading Center of Kirkwood. With endless inspirational stories of students, including the success of her very own children, it’s clear that she has made a lasting impression on young minds in this St. Louis suburb.
Ann’s story began as a high school and middle school teacher. After teaching for 12 years, she wanted to get out of the classroom setting, but stay connected to education.
“I’ve always loved learning and felt called to be a teacher. When I elected to be a stay at home mom, I knew I wanted work that kept me connected to education,” said Ann. “I distinctly remember the moment my friend’s daughter was working on her Kumon Math work and being so impressed by the young girl’s fast mental calculation skills. It was then when I saw the true power of the Kumon Method.”
Ann not only pulls on her experience as a teacher, but also from homeschooling her children up until high school. She is fascinated by and observant of each student’s learning style and the individualized process it takes to get them to where they need to be.
“I try to see and understand each child’s learning style and level of confidence,” said Ann. “Over time I learn how much to push and when to back off to balance emotions. This is a long process throughout the relationship with the student.”
Ann is proud of her children’s many accomplishments, especially that all three are Kumon Reading Program completers! While all three children have different career paths, including Colleen, an Olympian steeplechase runner, they all credit Kumon for helping them achieve success.
“Kumon was a component in my children developing academic skills as well as time management skills,” said Ann. “Kumon was always one of our consistent tools to achieve our goals. Having the daily routine of Kumon gave them structure when they were growing up, while being homeschooled at the same time. I always speak to my parents about my experience, and how the most important component of a child’s development is their guidance and the example that is being set for them.”
What is it about being an Instructor you enjoy the most?
I really enjoy changing a child’s attitude towards learning and watching their confidence soar. Once a student recognizes their own growth, you immediately notice the positive change. An activity that I love doing is asking them to “brag” about a moment they were proud of. It’s so great to see them smile and feel good about their hard work.
What is the most valuable lesson you’ve learned as a Kumon Instructor?
Through the years, I’ve had many valuable lessons, and the learning never stops. I always work with my staff and myself to find the strongest observation methods to further make an impact on our student’s growth.
Can you describe an instruction moment where you made an impact on a student?
These moments happen all the time, and they are great. I remember hearing a student who had been struggling for a while proudly exclaim, “I’m really good at Kumon.” It’s so rewarding seeing my students proud of themselves and accomplishing things no matter how big or small.
What is your favorite book on Kumon’s Recommended Reading List?
I love them all! If I had to choose, it would be A Wrinkle in Time. I recently had a great conversation about the book with one of my students, and I remembered all the rich themes. I love how the main character who is a super intelligent young girl, acts as a reluctant hero. This book has so many textures that every time one reads it, even as an adult, there’s a new take-away.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
I am an avid reader and am especially fond of historical fiction books. Our family loves hiking, so we always try to pick a destination that has great trails. We recently took a trip out to Oregon and hiked South Sister. We hiked a total of 28 miles while backpacking and reached the peak of the mountain (10,000 feet peak elevation!)
What is a fun fact about you that people may not know?
I was on pace to qualify as a marathon runner for the 1988 Olympic trials for team USA.
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