OBA’s Kim Choate – Oklahoma Bible Academy Teacher Spotlight

By John Tranchina

For Kim Choate, it’s all about forming relationships with the kids. The Oklahoma Bible Academy (OBA) middle school science teacher, who has also coached cross country and strength and conditioning there, enjoys the process of getting to know her students and being able to help them grow over the course of the school year.

“It would be the kids, for sure, just getting to know them on a level that’s beyond education, just developing those relationships with them,” said Choate, 51, of what she loves most about the job. “And of course, always the time when we get to figure things out together and they come to a different level of understanding, regardless of if it’s a concept for the first time or if it’s a deeper level of a concept that they’re already aware of.”

Choate currently teaches seventh grade life science and eighth grade earth science, as well as PE, at OBA, where she is in her seventh year. She has also taught Bible, coached the middle school cross country team and coached and taught strength and conditioning at the interdenominational Christian private school based in Enid, which includes Grades 6-12.

Overall, this is Choate’s 20th year teaching, including several years in Houston and teaching all different ages and grades, including kindergarten and first grade, science and PE. She points out that because every child is different, she attempts to get to know them so she can determine what methods work best in order to relate to them and help them learn more effectively.

“I’m just real with them,” she said of her approach. “There’s not like a formula, because some kids respond differently to different things, so they’re not like a problem to solve, they’re just like a person to know. I would say that for all grade levels or all ages, honestly. Even with a first grader or an eighth grader, I’d be very honest.”

Similarly, when coaching cross country or strength and conditioning at OBA or even in her other job as a coach at the Iron Den cross-fit gym in Enid, Choate makes it a point to learn each student’s personality and adjust her approach accordingly.

“My coaching style, I guess, it’s really more relational, and it’s about getting to know them personally and being able to individually figure out, or have it revealed, how each one is motivated, because some kids are motivated differently and they respond differently to different stimuli,” said Choate, whose daughter Madeline and son Connor are both students at Oklahoma State University. “Like some kids, if you are raising your voice at them and you push them, they’ll completely shut down, or another one wants you to yell at them or be a little more stern because it makes them push harder.

“It’s just really relational. We just all are so different.”

And understanding that is a big part of why she is such a good teacher and coach.