Hometown: McHenry, Illinois
Teacher preparation program:
Anticipated date of graduation:
Joshua Kinder didn’t always want to be a teacher, but a pivotal moment during a fall semester in college helped change that. As he listened to his professors, he began to imagine how he would teach the topics instead. “This led to some good conversations with a few of my professors about teaching and classroom experiences.” What ultimately drew Joshua to teaching was the “possibility of working through education to empower students to effect real, positive change in communities.”
Joshua holds a BS in mathematics from Hope College and an MA in biblical studies from Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminary. Committed to working towards a healthier community, Joshua has worked or volunteered at ranches, farms and gardens. As a farming apprentice at Heifer Ranch in Arkansas and a volunteer for Rise Up Farms near Elkhart, Indiana, he has had the opportunity to educate people of all ages about responses to poverty, hunger and environmental degradation. He is particularly excited about what teaching can do for personal transformation and social change. “Helping students milk a goat for the first time, herding sheep with high schoolers, or watching a lamb’s birth with a group of women, I was often able to see a real change in their perspective.”
Joshua believes that “curriculums should be formed to address local challenges, not compelled to fit a national model,” and that “teachers should be important and active community members.” A recipient of Howard Hughes Medical Institute Research Award and AmeriCorps Education Award, Joshua hopes to teach in Elkhart so that he can continue educating towards a healthier, safer community. A long-distance runner, Joshua has run marathons, a half marathon and a variety of shorter races.