About Me

Hi! My name is Chrissie!  I am a public school teacher in Southeastern Pennsylvania. I am a mom of two, wife of a teacher, and a dog lover. Thanks so much for visiting my blog! I am so happy that you are here!

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 becoming a third grade teacher at the center of my career. I spent 14 years as a third grade teacher, before transitioning into my current role as a K-5 gifted specialist.

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!


  1. Mountain Dell
    April 3, 2018 / 5:41 pm

    Hi I just downloaded your Freebie off of TPT. I love it but I was wanting to use it with my on-line Vipkid students. I realized that this would be a Copyright violation and wanted to know if I could get (or purchase) permission to do that? I am sorry to be commenting with this here but I could not find another way to contact you. Thanks for time.Angela

    • Chrissie Rissmiller
      April 24, 2018 / 2:48 am

      Hi Angela, Thanks for asking. 🙂 Which free resource are you referring to? All of my resources (free and paid) come with one "single teacher" license. As long as you are the only teacher using the resource, that would be fine. Best wishes with your students! Vipkid sounds like a wonderful teaching experience.

  2. MIchele Comfort
    January 25, 2019 / 11:42 pm

    This is probably not the right place, but I need help with the growth mindset bulletin board. The powerpoint program doesn’t seem to comply with your directions.

    • undercoverclassroom
      April 17, 2019 / 8:12 am

      Hi Michele, Sorry that you are having trouble. PowerPoint has gone through some updates since I wrote that post, so it may look different, but still has the same capabilities. What exactly are you having trouble with?

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