Kayla Delzer at UND mobile size photo
Kayla Delzer, ’08, ’14
Major:
Elementary Education
Hometown:
Lakota, N.D.
Nationally known for:
“Starbucks Classroom”

The ‘Top Dog’ in teaching

UND graduates across the country are innovating the world in ways both big and small.

Kayla Delzer, a teacher in Mapleton, N.D., has transformed her third-grade classroom into one of the most tech-savvy in the nation.  

Her students use laptops and tablets nearly as much as pencils and paper, and they post messages daily on class Twitter and Instagram accounts.

Kayla Delzer speaking at UND event

North Dakota educator and UND alum Kayla Delzer returned to campus to share her innovative style and inspire future teachers at a recent event.

Today’s students don’t know a world without the Internet and smartphones, so Delzer thinks it’s imperative these types of technologies are used in as many ways as possible in school.

While many public schools incorporate more technology into their classrooms, Delzer is going a step beyond. She has her own brand — Top Dog Teaching — and she works to get free supplies for her students through the use of that brand.

Delzer graduated from UND in 2008 with a double major in elementary education and early childhood education. She later earned a master’s degree in elementary education in 2014.

“I was created and put on this earth to teach,” she writes on her website. “I can’t imagine doing anything else in the whole world.”

To make her students more comfortable in her classroom, she even revolutionized what it looks like. Instead of assigned desks, Delzer allows her students to sit wherever they want on various types of furniture — from mats to ball chairs to beanbags. Delzer has dubbed it the “Starbucks Classroom” because you get to choose where you sit.

Since implementing the plan, Delzer says she has seen her students improve. Her work recently was featured in The New York Times, and so many teachers from around the country wanted to visit her classroom that the school set aside one day a week for tours.

Major:
Elementary Education
Hometown:
Lakota, N.D.
Nationally known for:
“Starbucks Classroom”