Crowley ISD Connections Magazine Summer 2018 - Page 13

Secondary Teacher of the Year Kyle Christensen | Engineering | B.R. Johnson Career & Tech Center How does it feel to be District Teacher of the Year? Christensen: “It’s an honor to be recognized for something that I love to do. It’s kind of mind blowing. I’m totally in shock and surprised by it, but so proud as well. For me, it’s not just a validation of what I’m doing in the classroom. It’s also validation of what we are doing at the B.R. Johnson Career & Tech Center.” What makes you a special teacher? Christensen: “I feel like I have my students’ best interest in mind every day when I come to school, and what I do is genuine. It’s a lot of hard work, and you may feel like some of the things you do go unnoticed, but the kids reco gnize it and that is reflected throughout the class. I get excited to come to work every day and work with these kids.” What’s the trick to teaching high school students? Christensen: “I think what it boils down to for me is that I treat my students in a way that feels fair. My students know that even if they are hearing something they don’t want to hear from me, they still know it comes from a place of caring. As a parent, I also want to teach kids the way I would prefer my own kids to be taught by their teachers. Making the connection of knowing how important this job really is and how influential we can be as teachers, it really puts an emphasis on the importance of the job and makes it way more meaningful for me.” “ “ He has taught me skills I cannot only retain, but also use in day-to-day life. Natalia Perez, Student Talk about your opportunities to work with kids after school. Christensen: “Providing opportunities for students to excel outside of the classroom is something that is important to me. Not every student plays a sport or an instrument. The Robotics Club has been a really neat experience to do. We have a group of kids that are totally enthusiastic about robotics. They would probably come after school every day if we would let them. We build robots, go to competitions, and we’ve also gone to intermediate schools within Crowley ISD to do CO 2 car races with fifth-graders. We’ve been able to learn from the Tarleton State University rocketry team. Students have also had the chance to get internships and job shadows at some really cool places that provide opportunities that most high schoolers do not get.” Check out our video about Kyle Christensen, Crowley ISD’s Secondary Teacher of the Year. Summer 2018 | CROWLEY ISD CONNECTIONS 13