Hi! My name is Chrissie! Thanks so much for visiting my blog! I am so happy that you are here!
Here is a picture of my family. We live in Southeastern Pennsylvania, near the corner of Delaware. That handsome man in glasses is my husband of ten years, Ray. He is my best friend in life and also a fellow teacher. He teaches fourth grade in the inner city, while I teach third grade in a rural district. We have very interesting dinner conversations, to say the least.
These two little cuties are our children. My daughter is eight years old, and she is a student in my class this year! She has a personality the size of the sun. My son is six years old. He is a sweet, sensitive little guy who loves to build things.
I simply cannot introduce my family without including the fur kids. Lewes is an eleven year old weimaraner and Roxy is a big black lab puppy. Both of these beauties were rescued from the animal shelter. They sleep with us in bed at night.
During the summer months, we like to explore the country in our camper. That thing has been across the country and back. Ray and I have visited nearly every state at least once and have camped in twelve National Parks. We feel so blessed to live in the beautiful United States of America!
I graduated with a degree in Early Childhood Development from the University of Delaware and started teaching that same year at the age of twenty-one. Attending graduate classes in the evenings, I later earned a Masters of Instruction in Elementary Education from West Chester University of Pennsylvania.
My teaching career started in 1997, back when there was time for creativity in the classroom and children still had active imaginations. Classrooms had dramatic play areas, sinks were filled with wet paint brushes, and "developmentally appropriate" was the buzz phrase to use in an interview. I have been around long enough to watch the educational pendulum swing back and forth a few times, but sadly never back to the time when kids could be kids.
After student teaching in kindergarten, my very first teaching assignment was in second grade. I loved (and still love) that age group! After a shift in enrollment, I was moved to first grade and became a first to second grade looping teacher. It was such a wonderful experience to watch my students grow across the span of two years. Those first seven years in the primary grades gave me a very strong foundation for later becoming the third grade teacher that I am today. I have been teaching third grade now in the same classroom for eleven years, for a total of eighteen years!
I am generally a very positive person. I am passionate about teaching and love the children I teach. Lately, the state of education has given me lots to worry about. I feel that data crunching, standards, and testing have become obstacles to meaningful teaching. Real, live kids have become numbers, not people. It is very, very concerning.
This blog is about the kind of teaching that is NOT measured by standardized tests. The kind of teaching that builds character, self- esteem, and deeper understanding. The kind of teaching that discretely meets the standards. The kind of teaching that teachers know is good for kids. Sadly, the kind of teaching that good teachers close their doors to hide.
Welcome to Undercover Classroom!