Meet Walking Classroom Ambassador Cristin Najera. Cristin teaches fourth grade at Rashkis Elementary School in North Carolina. She has worked in education for 17 years, and has been using The Walking Classroom for four years.
What are your memories of yourself when you were in fourth grade?
I was in a combination class with a student teacher, and I wanted to be that student teacher. From the age of two, I knew that I wanted to be a teacher.
What led you to become an educator?
I was born to be a teacher, and I played school from the time I could talk and walk. I used sticky notes as desks and little stuffed animals and dolls as my students.
I believe all students can learn, but first you must build relationships. Once you have gained their trust, students will soar!
What is your favorite content area/topic to teach? Why?
Math! I love to see the lightbulb go off with a correct answer. Because I am also very analytical and Type A, I like there to be a right answer!
What is your favorite podcast or Walking Classroom memory and why?
Women and Girls of the Middle Ages because the students really know nothing about the Middle Ages, and it takes them by surprise.
What is your best teaching memory?
I think I like that every day you never know what to expect. I love the funny things students say from time to time. Two favorite memories are getting a facebook friend request from a student I taught my first year. She friended me to say she became a teacher and I inspired her. I also found out recently that a former student named their cat after me. I guess I made an impact!
What advice would you give to a new teacher?
It is a lot of work, but it is so rewarding.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
Name something you’d like to cross off your bucket list.
I’d like to teach abroad and have children of my own.