Kristen Downey, MEd

When I was a middle school classroom teacher, I got to know my students well. I cared about them– their academic performance, growth as social beings, hobbies outside of the classroom, their family life. Each day could bring laughter, challenge and unexpected insight. Additionally, I enjoyed working with the adults in the building. My colleagues and I couldn’t stop talking about teaching– in the hallways, lunch, on runs after school. So when I began work at UVEI, I knew I’d enjoy working with adults, but I wasn’t expecting to feel the same level of fondness for adult learners as I felt for my students. They couldn’t possibly be as much fun, as intriguing, as quirky as adolescents, right?

I was wrong.

I feel passionately that my job is to make people the best learners, the best educators, they can be. I have seen amazing growth in teacher interns over the course of a year that fuels this passion. People always ask me if I miss the classroom. Although I’m still in the “classroom,” I know what they mean: Don’t you miss working with kids? Yes. But also, no. I love working with people. I love working with learners of any age. I am a passionate educator, and my students still bring me laughter, challenge and unexpected insight every day.


Kristen Downey, MEd, is the Associate Director for Teacher Education at UVEI where she teaches in the teaching and school leadership programs. She has been a middle school language arts teacher in the Upper Valley for eleven years. Several years after graduating from Colby College with a major in English and Creative Writing, she entered UVEI’s Class of 2003 (known then as UVTI). She earned a masters degree through Plymouth State University where her action research focused on approaches to student discipline. In addition to being a classroom teacher, Ms. Downey recently served as Richmond Middle School’s Writing Coach, which included designing and implementing training for faculty, as well as facilitating school-wide writing assessments. Her internship with the Vermont Writing Collaborative allowed her to share her passion for and knowledge about helping students become effective writers. She also serves on the Thetford, VT School Board.

You can follow her on Twitter @UVEIDowney

Practice Interests

Kristen has designed and delivered inquiries into topics including Instructional Coaching, Project Based Learning, Argument Writing, Differentiated Instruction and the Brain, and Formative Assessment. During her time as an English classroom teacher, she presented to faculty on topics such as the Young Writers Project, back-channels, iPad apps, vocabulary, and Understanding by Design. Her interests include local history, writing for understanding, and poetry.