As a high school teacher, I sometimes use my lunch period to get caught up with grading. It was one such day that a colleague, a Spanish teacher from the other end of my hall, popped in to ask me a question. Apparently, during her planning period that morning, she walked by while I was teaching with the door open. A strategy we were working with caught her eye and she wanted to know more about it. We often bounce ideas off of each other and share methods. She asked me about the lesson she’d overheard. I told her about the activity and she excitedly offered suggestions to take my lesson to the next level and ways she could use some of the strategies with her own classes. Her enthusiasm for the rigor of my classes is indicative of her overall passion for education.
This collaborative and innovative colleague is Christine Bernstein. I’ve known and worked with Chris for a few years and appreciate her constant pursuit of learning for both herself and her students. She told me a couple of years ago that she had intended to run for school board in Los Alamos while continuing to work as a high school teacher in Pojoaque. I fully support her ambition. She is intelligent, dedicated, and focused on education. Although we work in Pojoaque Schools, we both live in Los Alamos and are therefore zoned for LAPS. I’m excited at the prospect of having someone with her skills and experience working and planning on behalf of my son, her children, and their Los Alamos peers.
With Chris on the School Board, Los Alamos gets someone devoted to public education who is in the trenches every day working with students, parents and other teachers. She is an earlier adopter when it comes to innovations in education. Chris is curious and creative and jumps at the chance to explore anything related She’s always looking to I hate when former teachers take on leadership roles but forget the realities of the classroom day-to-day. I know that won’t happen with Chris. After 16 years of working in a variety of public schools, in three different states, I’ve worked with an array of teachers but Chris is the best kind of colleague.