I’m thrilled that you’re here!
I’m Kirsten Tulsian and I created what is now known as Kirsten’s Kaboodle in 2016. Following a near 20-year stint as an elementary teacher and school counselor, I began creating resources for my classroom and fell deeply in love. Somehow, I found a way to marry two of my passions… writing and nurturing kids. WHAT? I can do BOTH of those things at the same time? SOLD!
The part of my story that fueled my desire to work as an educator started when I was in 2nd grade. It was December 26th, 1982. My family had just moved from Salt Lake City to Minneapolis the week prior and my dad quickly decided he didn’t want to be there. He left the following day, and I spent the next 10 years moving back and forth from Utah to Minnesota (over and over again). By the time I turned 16 years old, I’d had 16 different bedrooms. I was the kid with a cumulative file a mile thick. Moving in the middle of the school year more times than I could count, I was no stranger to being “the new kid.”
I didn’t always have the most stellar experiences as the new kid and felt lost in the shuffle so much of the time. I remember crying myself to sleep one night in 3rd grade because my teacher never added my name to the helper chart. I didn’t have the courage to remind her. Doesn’t seem like such a big deal on the surface, but for a kid who needed to be seen in the most basic ways, it felt devastating.
For me, teaching was only HALF about teaching content. The other half (and, in many ways, the more important half) was truly SEEING each student through a kind, understanding, and compassionate lens. I planned to provide students with an experience that was different from mine. I would be the teacher who saw the kids that didn’t get seen. Was I perfect? Nope, not even close, but I know I met that goal in many ways during my years as a teacher and counselor.
I made my way back to Salt Lake (for the hundredth time) in 2007 after working as a teacher and counselor in Houston for 10 years. I took a 4th grade position here in 2008 and spent 8 years at that school in various positions (ESL teacher, 3rd grade, and 4th grade teacher). I am happily married and a mom to two teenagers, who I completely and utterly adore. We also have two Goldendoodles, Suki Bear and Bonzai (Bubby) and two parrots (Pickle and Jenga). The long and short of it is that I feel grateful AF for ALL of it.
In a nutshell, I believe you change the world! You could have the BEST curriculum in the galaxy, but it means nothing if your kids don’t feel connected to you in some way. Teachers are in a unique position to CHANGE LIVES on a minute-by-minute basis. Your smile in the morning, a simple acknowledgment that you notice something about a child, using a child’s name when you speak to them, or asking follow-up questions about something they mentioned a week ago… these simple things ARE THE DIFFERENCE for so many kids. You would have NEVER landed on my website if you didn’t already help students feel successful, heard, and understood! You matter to them and absolutely make a difference in their lives. Those ripple effects grow and travel in seen and unseen ways… and they undoubtedly CHANGE THE WORLD for the years and decades to come. Thank you for doing the most important job in the world and THANK YOU for being here!