Kristen Bowers is the Founder and President of Secondary Solutions.
Before I got into teaching, I naively assumed that teachers would be given all the materials they needed in order to teach the required core curriculum, and that what teachers created themselves was just gravy. Oh, how wrong I was! I was lost my first year, begging and borrowing anything and everything I could get my hands on to help students learn the skills on which they were being tested. I was hired at a school with an established reputation and high scores–I certainly did not want to mess that up as a first year teacher! After struggling with my first year of teaching, never able to find good materials I needed to help my students meet the demands of district and state testing requirements, I decided that I needed to design my own. I spent an entire summer, day after day, creating and writing materials that helped my students learn and appreciate the required core literature, the skills and concepts of the California Content Standards, the grammar, the writing, the vocabulary, quizzes, tests, essay prompts!! Finally, I had created my first Literature Guide.
After using my materials with HUGE success and sharing my success and enthusiasm with my colleagues who wanted to know my secret, I shared and created more for more of literature I had to teach. From there, after recommendations and nudges from my colleagues and family who felt I was on to something, I joined up with my mom (a former teacher herself) and opened an online store with four titles.
Now, with over 35 titles, six years later, blood, sweat, tears, and hours of lost sleep, here we are–Secondary Solutions–The First Solution for the Secondary Teacher!
Ten Things About Kristen Bowers
(I stole this idea from Charity over at The Organized Classroom Blog– say “hey” if you stop over there–she’s got fabulous ideas!)
- I taught for six years, then three years ago left teaching to be a stay-at-home mom and run Secondary Solutions full time…and it has been the absolute most challenging (and completely wonderful) thing I have EVER done in my life!
- I have my bachelor’s degree in Theater Arts with an emphasis on Acting, a minor in English, a credential in Single Subject English, and a master’s degree in Education with an emphasis on Special Education.
- I have been married for seven years, and we met as servers at a Coco’s restaurant. He know works for Kaiser Permanente as the Simulation Coordinator for the Los Angeles region.
- I have had a zillion odd jobs! Some of my more interesting jobs include a stint as a singing/dancing celery stalk for the LA County Fair, a Social Hostess for Carnival Cruiselines, a Server/Manager at Coco’s, a professional singer/actress, owner of a tutoring business, and a secretary at Lawry’s foods.
- I secretly love to coupon, and have spent many a Saturday night obsessively getting ready to head out first thing Sunday morning to grab the best deals and freebies!
- I used to be an obsessively organized person – everything in its place. Now I am so busy (and have a 2 1/2 year old) that I am lucky if the house is picked up!
- I LOVE to write curriculum, but as Secondary Solutions grows, I have less and less time to write. I am so busy wearing so many other hats!
- My favorite movies are an eclectic mixture: Shakespeare in Love, Crash, Fried Green Tomatoes, Forrest Gump, Legally Blonde, Double Jeopardy, It’s a Wonderful Life, Gone with the Wind, The Princess Bride, Pretty Woman, Catch Me if You Can, Cars, Dirty Dancing, The Departed…man, I could go on and on!!!
- In my spare time and when I am not spending time with my daughter, I…sleep, clean my house, do laundry, or play BINGO online!
- I secretly wish I were: a more creative writer, less competitive (and therefore less jealous!), 50 pounds lighter, and RICH!