Team Member: Kelsey Christensen
Position: 3rd Grade Teacher
Where: Lincoln-King Academy – Adams-Young Campus
HR: What motivates or inspires you?
KC: Whenever someone asks me if I have any kids, I always respond by saying, “Yes, I have 70.” For those who don’t know me well, I began working at LKA almost 5 years ago. I was hired in April 2016 and spent the last six weeks of that school year teaching 1st grade. I had just graduated college and was so excited to (finally!) have my very own classroom. The following year, I taught the same group of students in 2nd grade. The year after that, I moved up to 3rd grade, then 4th, and eventually became my students’ 5th grade teacher as well. The memories I made throughout my first few years of teaching are ones I will cherish forever. My students, their families, and my colleagues all became like family to me. This year, I am back teaching 3rd grade math, but still receive many messages and phone calls from my former students and their families. I always become inspired when I look back and realize the incredible amount of growth my students (and I) have made over the past 5 years.
HR: What is your educational background and why did you decide to become an educator?
KC: I graduated from CMU (Fire Up Chips!) with a major in Early Childhood Development and Learning. This past spring, I also received a Master’s degree in Educational Technology from GVSU. I decided to become a teacher for many reasons, but mainly because I knew I would enjoy coming to work each day if I was able to work with children. My students and I have been through a lot together – the good, the bad, and the silly. Some days can be very challenging. However, my students have always kept me going. I am so grateful to have a job that continues to challenge me, and allows room for me to learn, grow, and improve each day. Even after 5 years, I can safely say that I have never once been bored at work.
HR: What do you enjoy doing when you’re not hard at work?
KC: I enjoy spending time with my family, friends, and my dog, Tilly. During the summer, I love traveling and spend much of my time doing outdoor activities. Since we’ve been in quarantine, I’ve started creating worksheets to sell on Teachers Pay Teachers. I’ve also made it my goal to become a better cook.
HR: How have you kept your students engaged and motivated to learn during this virtual learning period?
KC: In 3rd grade, we always take a few minutes to start off our mornings by sharing good news. At first, the students were shy and didn’t participate much. Now, they can’t wait to log in and share exciting things, new discoveries, or special talents with their classmates. Over the past couple months, they have learned that there is ALWAYS something good to celebrate around them, as long as they take the time to look. Throughout class, I also like to incorporate movement and games to keep students engaged. In addition, I make sure to reach out to families as much as possible, especially while we are virtual. This communication plays a huge role in their child’s education.
HR: What do you enjoy most about your work at Adams-Young (AY)?
KC: I’ve always felt very supported working at AY. I have an amazing Principal and Dean and am surrounded by a team of teachers who are always positive and help to look out for one another.
HR: If there is a special quote, motto, or mantra you live by what is it?
KC: “UNLESS someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.” – Dr. Seuss