Vince Goeddeke – Calm, Focused With a Sense of Patient Purpose
The big hand was on the nine. He squished his face against the window and peeked inside. Kindergarten teacher Vince Goeddeke smiled and waved back at the young boy who burst into a grin and scurried away for another 15 minutes before the start of the school day.
Nothing will take you back to kindergarten as quickly as sitting in a tiny chair in Blake campus classroom 102. Décor on the walls is as warm and welcoming as Vince, now in his sixth year of teaching here. How can I best describe this popular teacher? Calm, focused with a sense of patient purpose. His demeanor quickly puts his little people (and me!) at ease. “I truly enjoy teaching kindergarten. I like where the kids are developmentally, emotionally and socially,” said Vince. “Play is still so important.”
This year the 20 youngsters in his charge are making the transition from mostly self-directed learning toward some more teacher guided lessons in the traditional academic disciplines. In the recent science collections unit, the curious crusaders collected different varieties of fall leaves and compared the shapes to pictures in tree guides to create their own leaf field guides. Vince (and his full time TA) have recently led the classroom through some exciting, hands-on discussions about various properties of two-dimensional shapes and often play pre-reading games with the students such as covering up all but the first letter of certain words so the kids can try to guess the covered word. This is good practice as an early reading strategy.
Vince enjoys spending time in the great outdoors. He has an undergraduate degree in environmental policy studies and a master's degree in education. He has worked at both the Dodge Nature Center in West St. Paul and Westwood Nature Center in St. Louis Park. He puts his gears where his green is! On even the coldest days of winter, he bikes about eight miles each way on the Greenway trail to and from work at Blake from his home in the Kingfield neighborhood where he lives with his wife and their four children — three boys and a girl who are 9, 8, 5 and 2 years old. He and his clan often go on camping excursions to places like Lake Itasca and the North Shore with other families from their neighborhood.