by: Smart Coos
Kim Gibson: Building Micro Communities
Kim Gibson is the Founder and Head of School of NOLA Micro Schools, a collaborative project with 4.0 Schools. Her education and community development background has directly influenced her role as an educator and a mom. She enjoys spending time with her family on the Bayou, running in City Park and experiencing as much as possible of the New Orleans culture. She is the mother of 4 kids and married to a pretty cool guy.
Recently, we sat down with Kim Gibson for an interview about her experiences as an educator and a mom.
What was the inspiration behind establishing your organization? Why have you continued?
Being an educator and a mother and watching my children go through the New Orleans’ school system over the past 7 years is the drive behind NOLA Micro Schools. I have continued to pursue this because I believe we need more options as parents when it comes to school choice in New Orleans. Seeing schools like Acton Academy and ALT School that are really pushing the envelope on innovative education inspired me to realize the potential of what schools can actually provide to students.
I have 4 children, from 5 to 11 years old. There is a 5 ½ year gap between all 4 of them. I think I already lost readers when I typed that! I would not say that we planned the age gap. Rather we embraced the chaos and celebrated each of them.
What is your fondest memory as a mother? Your not so fondest memory? Why?
Sitting on the floor surrounded by my family, eating and watching a movie on Friday nights. I love this because it’s nothing fancy. It is just simply being together, and someone always laughs out loud.
The first time I took a child to the ER was a rude awakening. The reality that you can’t protect your child from everything is something I think will always challenge parents. Regardless of knowing through the hard times will be growth, I don’t think it will ever be easy to watch.
Working in education, motherhood is a key influencer! It is what makes our business better, because I not only get to see the creative spirits of my own kids but also their friends. I get to see kids interact in sports games, dance recitals, on playgrounds. It opens up a world of possibilities and makes what we do as a school better. When I want feedback on a new idea for our school, I ask one of my kids, and then their friends. It doesn’t get more honest or insightful than that!
If you could tell a new mother ONE thing and only one thing what would it be?
Remember you are not alone, even when you feel like it. On days when you haven’t had a coherent sentence with an adult. When you watch your child get their feelings hurt by a friend, or worse by you. When you lie on your back and laugh out loud with your child. When you can’t remember your last shower. When you smile with pride as your child shines. Being a mother is a richer experience when you have people around you to share in you and your child’s lives. Create a community, and grow together.
As a family, we will continue to take each day and year at a time. We will figure out what our family needs and how we will make it happen. NOLA Micro Schools will continue to build relationships and a community with our city and our students. We will continue to get feedback and improve as well as collaborate with other schools. And our students will be prepared to be lifelong learners who change the world.
You can find Kim online at:
Let us know, how you are building your community?