Design Thinking 6

Entrepreneurship 9

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School Telephone Number: 210.430.1619

Conference Times: Mon – Thu 1:15 – 2:15 & 3:35 – 4:30 & Fri 7:45 am – 8 :30 am


Paul Kim began his tenure at Compass Rose Academy in 2019. During his 25+ year teaching career, he has taught everything from kindergarten to college. In his work, Paul has been awarded a variety of teacher-of-the-year and coach-of-the-year honors.

Over the years, Paul has developed and led innovation and equity efforts resulting in unique education programs for both youth and adults. Paul has also collaborated in regional and national efforts to use design thinking and entrepreneurship as a tool to make learning more engaging in our rapidly changing world.

Education Philosophy

As the child of Korean immigrants, education has always represented aspirational possibility in my life. And though the vocational aspirations that my parents had in mind for me never became mine, their belief that education could lead to boundless possibilities certainly did.

Because of the guidance I received from my advisor in graduate school, I became a teacher. That advice marked a defining turn for me – it was both personal and personalized. My formal teaching career began in boarding schools. During the 14 years that I lived and worked in that immersive environment, I learned the clear value of knowing more about my students than whatever was or was not reflected in their schoolwork.

Several years ago, I began to explore personalized learning and realized, contrary to some common misconceptions, that it is much more than having personal connections to students. I believe that this is a distinction that many teachers should spend more time thinking about so that they can refocus their energies on teaching that results in transformation, not transactions or ambiguities in student-teacher relationships. This is particularly true because our ability to personalize learning and genuinely “meet students where they are” is facilitated by analog tools like design thinking that can help teachers better understand a student’s unique learning profile and avoid assumptions that limit the possibilities of what a student might achieve.

Five hundred years ago, the Italian lord Pandolfo Petrucci noted “the times are more powerful than our brains.” This may also be true in the 21st century when the great promise of education lies in the synergy generated at the intersection of neuroscience and physics, technology and algorithms, and imagination and human will. Bruce Mau, designer and founder of the Institute without Boundaries, once asked: “Now that we can do anything, what will we do?” With so much potential, it may be more possible and more important than ever to equip both teachers and students to act with more agency and be more metacognitive in education systems. Even in my 30th year of teaching, I am trying to do this work with wonder and optimism.

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