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Education Q&A: Christina Chandler, student teacher

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Christina Chandler is a student teacher at Red Bridge Elementary in the Center School District. | Photo by Lindsey Foat

Christina Chandler is a 3rd grade student teacher at Red Bridge Elementary School. After hours, she devotes 10-20 hours a week coaching Center School District’s FIRST® LEGO® League teams. FLL gets 9 to 14-year-olds interested in engineering through robotics competitions. One of the teams Chandler works with is the Rocking Robo Roadrunners. This month they competed at the Greater Kansas City FIRST® LEGO® League Championship at Union Station. The team and their accomplishments will be featured on KCPT’s “The Local Show” Feb. 6, 2014 at 7 p.m.

What is your favorite subject to teach and why?

“I love teaching reading and science. I like reading because, well, reading is the basis for everything. Without strong reading skills a child can’t excel. I love science because it is the most fun subject.”

What should people know about working in education and what are the biggest misconceptions you hear about educators?

“‘Teachers get paid plenty for the hours that they work.’ I have heard that several times. I always tell people that they don’t want their child in the classroom with the teacher that really only works nine months out of the year, seven hours a day. Teachers do SO much more and put in so many more hours than most people can imagine. Another thing I hear is, ‘I would never want to work with this generation’s kids.’ This is the generation that needs the most work and attention. They face more challenges than every generation before them. They deserve everything we have to give them!”

What inspires you?

“Children who are learning and excited about learning. I also love when people come together and work hard together to further the education of our children. Some people say it takes a village to raise a child. Well, I say it takes an entire nation to raise a child. Children are our only real renewable resource. Forget about running out of oil. If we, as a nation, nurture, protect and educate our children, they will use the ingenuity that we nurture in them to solve any problems we may face in the future.”

What is the biggest obstacle you see in education today?

“Honestly, it’s the family unit. Teachers do a lot, but we can’t do it all. It takes strong support and people who are willing to work with their children outside of the classroom.”

What is your favorite educational tool?

“Technology! It is a wonderful tool for re-emphasizing what you have already taught. I especially love tablets in the classroom.”

What’s a major lesson teaching has taught you?

“There is potential in each and every child! It’s our job as teachers to bring that potential out of them!”

[This is an edited version of Chandler’s email response to our questionnaire.]

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