Kristen Zarkowsky

Kristen Zarkowsky


As a classroom teacher, my role is to facilitate a safe and rigorous learning environment for my students. I feel strongly that learning occurs through authentic experiences, so I encourage my students to be inquisitive about their surroundings and try to use their inquiries (as well as my own) to drive my instruction. I am passionate about getting to know each of my students as learners, as well as contributors to our community, and welcome their unique perspectives to life and to problem solving. As your child’s teacher I will promote the academic importance of organization, exceeding expectations, and realistic goal setting. I will also promote the social importance of self advocacy, fair vs. equal, and teamwork. I look forward to meeting all the faces that will make Discovery Elementary a wonderful place to learn.

Professional Background

I graduated with a degree in Elementary Education from UNC-Wilmington in 2004. After graduation I taught 4th grade for 3 years at Malpass Corner Elementary in Burgaw, NC before moving to Arlington, VA in 2007. I’ve held two other positions in APS, one as a 5th grade teacher at Tuckahoe Elementary, and the other as a Math Special Projects teacher at Oakridge Elementary. In 2011 I graduated from George Mason University with a Master’s Degree in Instructional Technology, and have used that degree to bring innovation and 21st century learning into the classroom.

Personal Interests

In the spring of 2018, my husband and I welcomed our first daughter into the world. We spend most of our time reading her books and doing all we can to get a belly laugh. Though I wouldn’t consider myself an athletic person, I’ve also been persuaded to run several 1/2 marathons, and compete in one triathlon. When I’m not cooing at my my daughter, you may see me jogging or biking on the trails that wind their way through our city. Lastly, during the summer I enjoy listening to several of my favorite musical artists play at Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts.

Literary Connection

A book that has stuck with me since I first read it as a fifth grader is Hatchet by Gary Paulsen. In this novel, 13 year old Brian Robeson is traveling by plane to visit his father in the oil fields of northern Canada for the summer. Along the way, Brian’s pilot suffers a heart attack, and Brian is left to land the plane by himself, then fend for his life alone in a forest. This book stuck with me because I am amazed with how Brian is able to take everything he’s learned from his life experiences and apply it to his survival. I’m impressed with his determination and his unwillingness to give up. I think Brian is a great role model for me and my students because he teaches us to apply what we learn and keep pushing on!