Who is Karen?
Karen Campbell Jensen, M.Ed. of Texas, has been a professional educator since 1992. She has served in a number of critical teaching and instructional leadership roles at the elementary and middle school levels and is currently a district instructional specialist with Killeen Independent School District. Through aha! Process Karen provides training and consulting services for A Framework for Understanding Poverty, Research-Based Strategies, Motivation, Under-Resourced Learners,and is a math content coach. An experienced consultant, Karen has been with aha! Process since 2005.
- Master of Education, Tarleton State University
- Bachelor of Science, Northwestern State University
- District Instructional Specialist, Killeen Independent School District
- Campus Instructional Specialist, Killeen Independent School District
- Math Coach, Killeen Independent School District
- Teacher, Killeen Independent School District
Karen’s aha! moment
I first heard Ruby Payne in 1996. Her message struck a chord in my heart and I became an avid fan. I officially became a trainer for our school district in 2002. I conducted Framework workshops for our district several times a year and became good friends with many of the consultants. I became a consultant in 2011.
I love learning about how the brain works and how it responds to the environment. I have done extensive research on how incorporating input process skills into instruction can help students be more successful. I put together a chart of activities that I have used with students, and Ruby put it in Chapter 25 of her book Research-Based Strategies. I’ve also been working with under-resourced students using nonlinguistic representations and mental models to bridge their thinking from concrete to abstract. It is amazing to me how perfectly Ruby’s work interlaces with Marzano’s strategies to create successful learners from every economic level.
Karen’s best training
I love when someone comes up to me in the grocery store and says, “Hey, you came to our school and talked to us about how to help our students in poverty. You changed how I look at my students.” One teacher even came to me after training and wanted to know how she could learn more. Her husband was from poverty, and they had been having a difficult time getting along. She went on to become a trainer!
What does Karen do for fun?
Travel! We’ve been to Washington, DC; London; Germany; Boston—all over! We love walking through museums and sampling food from all over the world. We often take our grandchildren with us when we travel, and it is so much fun to watch them see something for the first time.
What are people saying about Karen?
“This was a wonderful learning day! Thank you!”
“This was wonderful. I have not always thought about how my poverty students may learn and extra support they may need—all while maintaining high expectations for them.”
“Mrs. Jensen is extremely knowledgeable and transfers her knowledge well. She shared her own stories and allowed us to share ours, which made the learning personal.”
“Very interesting, real-life situations made this a very engaging and helpful day. Relevant material—these are OUR kids!”
“I would like to have this presentation presented to my entire campus. We have covered several areas that give me a better understanding of my students and how to reach them. I loved how the facilitator related many areas to her own life. She was well prepared and knowledgeable.”
“This was the best professional development this summer! I took so much away, and the video clips used and the personal examples helped with perspective.”