Hello! My name is Christina Howard. This is my fourth year teaching at the Renaissance Charter School and I am very grateful for this position and this wonderful opportunity to be your child's math teacher. I am going on my 9th year of teaching. Previously, I worked for Medford Public School District in Medford, Massachusetts, a small city north of Boston. There, I taught third grade for five years.
I grew up in upstate New York, in the town of Wappingers Falls. Ever since eleventh grade Geology, I knew I wanted to be a teacher. My class visited various elementary schools to teach about Rocks and Minerals. I had a ball working with children and really believed I could make a difference. I found myself leaving for Massachusetts in 2001 to attend Endicott College in Beverly, to study education. It was the perfect school for me. After my Masters program, I found Medford Public Schools and before I knew it, twelve years passed living in New England.
Four years ago, I took a leave of absence because my best friend and I had the wild idea to backpack South America. We left in January and returned five months later. There we traveled through seven countries, practiced spanish, embraced the Latin American culture, and conquered some of our greatest fears in life. One being for me: sea life, which I often refer to as "man-eating minnows." An unreasonable fear nonetheless, and therefore I really had no other option than to snorkel the Galapagos and surf Costa Rica. Seeing the magic in every thing, I came back with a different view on life. Turned out the idea wasn't so wild, but an adventure I'll never forget. (Feel free to check out places traveled and my highlight reel videos of my trip by clicking on the links provided).
My first year teaching I had a friend mention that the best way to spend summer vacation is to travel. At the time, I was a creature of habit, enjoying my summers with my family either on Siesta Key Beach or poolside in my hometown. So a little fearful, I agreed to the challenge and decided on a few personal items to place in what seemed to be tiniest backpack and headed to the other side of the world for a three week tour of Thailand. Immersing myself in an unknown culture, going on new excursions, meeting new people, eating new foods, seeing different religions, not really having a set agenda left me with appreciation and the desire to continue to see what else the world has to offer. I jumped on the travel bandwagon, conquering Guatemala, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Peru, the Pacific Northwest, and now South America. I've also visited twenty six states. Traveling is a big part of me. I take advantage of all school holidays, getting on a plane for any new adventure. What's next? Puerto Rico in December.
Some people say that everything they needed to learn about life, they learned in Kindergarten. Although that may be true, I think everything I needed to know, I learned through playing soccer. I started playing soccer when I was three years old. Growing up with mostly boys, I wanted to do what they were doing, so I insisted that my mom sign me up for soccer. As I grew up, I played very competitively: travel teams, select teams, camps, high school varsity, and collegiately. After college, I participated in some adult leagues, however two years ago, I traded in my orange cleats and goalie gloves for a yoga mat. Still, I've been know to participate in some recess pick- up games, as well as coach at a Varsity level.
I spend a lot of my free time practicing Yoga or lifting weights. What can I say? I love it. Besides hiking the Grand Canyon, I would say Yoga is probably the most mentally and physically challenging thing I have ever done. Each class, I am always brought to a new place. If you happen to peek through the windows of room 212 and see me in a headstand, don't find it too unusual! A lot of math is required to be a successful weightlifter. Physics and Math are the key to being able to have a 225 pound pause squat...something I am extremely proud of.
Most importantly, I surround myself with incredible people. Fortunately for me, I am very blessed in the family and friend department. I definitely like to credit them for helping me to get where I am today. In fact, it's because of them that I find myself moving back to New York. I'm excited for this new chapter, and pleased that I get to share it with the Renaissance Community.
Philosophy on Teaching
Please feel free to read my Teaching Philosophy, which explains why I do what I do in the classroom.