Welcome to Kat and Squirrel!
Kat is a first-grade teacher at Thorp Elementary in Thorp, WI. Before that, she served as the education coordinator for the Chippewa Falls Museum of Industry and Technology in Chippewa Falls, WI. Her experience also includes teaching seventh-grade math and science, and a sixth-grade self-contained classroom. Kat has also had the privilege of teaching adult graduate classes at Saint Mary’s University, Cardinal Stritch University, and the University of Wisconsin – Stout, Wisconsin’s Polytechnic University. Her graduate classes included strategies for working with economically disadvantaged students, and staff development focused on traits of high-performing high-poverty schools with emphasis on building strategies and community partnerships to reduce the achievement gap. She is now entering the bloggesphere hoping to have a positive impact on teachers and children everywhere.
Kristin is the founder of Unscribbled, Inc. – a web and graphic design company that works directly with clients to develop their businesses by strategizing and meeting their promotional needs. She is also the author of Unscribbling: the art of problem solving and fulfilling your desires and co-author of Unpuzzling Spirituality. With a compulsion like a squirrel gathering nuts, she likes to unscribble any problem, desire or design need that she can.
She currently lives in California with her husband, Chris Merz, and their dog, Maddie.
Q&A with Kat and Squirrel
Q: So what is the dealio here?
Squirrel: Well, you have to realize how great of a teacher my sister is (and what a great sister she is too). She will never tell you this, but her students RAVE about her. Absolutely RAVE! And so do their parents. So when she told me that she was posting lessons on Teachers Paying Teachers I thought it was a brilliant idea. I mean it should not just be her students who get to benefit from her imaginative lessons. (Sadly, only her students can get her heart and smiles. So teachers, don’t forget to add that to the lessons after you download them.) 🙂
Kat: How embarrassing! You can’t say things like that on a blog. You need to say something more… I don’t know, less braggy.
Squirrel: Well, you can’t, but I can! And, I just did, so it must be allowed. (Seriously, people, she is good.)
Kat: Ugh! Little sisters can be so annoying!
Squirrel: Where do you think we learn it from, huh?
Q: Okay, okay, let’s focus here. So then what happened?
Kat: So I asked my brilliant designer sister if she wanted to help and snazz up the lessons with some fun graphics.
Squirrel: For those of you reading at home, I’d like the record to reflect that there was an eye roll with that brilliant.
Kat: No! I really mean it, otherwise I would not have asked.
Squirrel: Yeah, again, people at home, you didn’t see the tongue that just got stuck out at me. (But please don’t let that be a reflection of her teaching. As sisters, we can bring it out in each other.)
Q: Alright, ladies! Can we get back to the interview?
Kat: Oh my gosh, you sounded just like our mom there!
Squirrel: You totally did! How fun!
Q: So anyway, where are you going with things now?
Kat: We are creating lessons that are educational, fun and visually appealing. And just having fun with it. We’ll see where it goes from there.
Squirrel: It’s been great so far. I think we are both natural creators and love figuring things out so we will just keep creating! (You can probably blame our mom for that.)
Kat: You mean CREDIT her.
Squirrel: But “blame” is more fun.
Kat: That’s true. We can blame mom.
Kat and Squirrel: So in a nutshell, this is all mom’s fault. 😉
The name “Kat and Squirrel”
Q: Where did the name “Kat and Squirrel” come from?
Kat: Growing up, the grocery store owner in Pigeon Falls, WI used to always call us “the Kat and the Rat” when we arrived to purchase our regular supply of
sugar candy. We figured that “Rat” might not be appealing to the masses. Our mom, used to always call Kristin, “Merle the Squirrel” so… it just became “Kat and Squirrel”!
Squirrel: See, once again most of the blame goes to mom… and Clark Kohnert this time too. 😉