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Teacher of the Day

Name:  Cristina Poeppel

School:  Liberty Traditional School

Subject:  Language Arts

State:  AZ

What or who inspired you to become a teacher?

Both of my parents were teachers. Nevertheless, teaching was always in my blood. Maybe it has something to do with being the eldest sibling in the family. I have fond memories of entertaining my sister, brother and neighbors alike by playing school during those long summer days. Maybe it wasn't the entertainment that the other kids expected, but I sure enjoyed it. Throughout the years, teaching has grown on me especially since I've had the opportunity to see the inner workings of our district schools through my daughters' eyes. Ultimately it is the intrinsic reward of helping a life shine a little brighter. It's the honor of being just a tiny piece of the catalyst that helps to prepare kids to be successful in the future.

How are things different for you now, compared to when you first started teaching?

Now that I have 11 years under my belt, I've had the opportunity to see the pendulum of educational theories swing from one side of the spectrum to the other. The accountability for teacher performance has grown immensely. 

What advice would you give to a new or struggling teacher?

Always be firm but kind to kids. It doesn't matter if they are five or 15; kids want to be liked and appreciated by you. Kids pick up on our emotions very quickly. It is important to discipline without displaying anger and frustration.

My best day in the classroom was when…

one of my students won a writing award through DAR (Daughters of the American Revolution). The press came into the classroom and handed out certificates to all of the participants of the writing contest. The best part about it all was that the county winner wants to be a writer, so this really motivated him to pursue his dream.

The best compliment I ever received was...

"You taught me so much vocabulary this year. I barely knew any words before sixth grade started."

What's your favorite part of the school year?

My favorite part of the year is the beginning because there is a lot of anticipation. It's exciting to see what talents and personalities kids bring to the classroom. Because we become sort of like a family for the year, and every class has different dynamics, it's like getting to know a new family.

What is your one must-have item for the classroom?

Document Camera

What do you eat for breakfast on school days?

cereal bars (during my prep time).

What movie or TV show do you secretly love?



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