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St. John School Teacher Profiles: Meet Cristina Fitzpatrick, Grade 3B

Cristina Fitzpatrick, St. John School 3B Teacher
Cristina Fitzpatrick, St. John School 3B Teacher

Can you tell us a little about your background and how long have you been a teacher at St. John School?
I am originally from Orlando, FL but have lived in Boston for 6 years with my daughter and husband.  My little girl is in K5 at St. John School. I played soccer at Rollins College in Winter Park, FL. I received my Master of Arts in Teaching from Northeastern University in 2013 and this will be my first year teaching at St. John School.

What attracted you to teaching?
   Making a difference in children’s lives is what first attracted me to teaching. I remember the teachers who had an impact on my life growing up and I hope to one of those teachers for my students.

What is most rewarding about being a teacher?
The most rewarding part about being a teacher is seeing students have that “Ah ha!” moment after struggling to understand a concept of idea. Education is all about growth and progress so being able to witness that on a daily basis is an incredible thing. Another rewarding thing about being a teacher is being able to see how all students learn differently. Every student comes into the classroom with a unique and valuable set of skills and there is nothing more rewarding than seeing students discover their skill set and develop confidence in themselves. 

What is one thing you wish someone had told you before you started your first day of teaching?
I wish someone would have told me how hard it would be to say good bye to the students at the end of the year!

What’s the newest, freshest approach you are bringing to your job as a St. John teacher?
The newest freshest approach I am bringing to St. John School is the idea that students learn best from peer to peer learning. Students will be working in groups daily to reinforce communication and knowledge sharing skills. It is essential that students have the opportunity to discuss ideas with their classmates to build on to their prior base of knowledge.

What is the hardest thing about being a teacher?
The hardest thing about being a teacher is wanting success for your students more than they want it for themselves. Another difficult part of being a teacher is seeing potential in children that they do not see in themselves.

What is something your students have taught you?
 My student’s have taught me to take risks and not be afraid of failing. Kids are so resilient and so eager to learn and they remind me that

What do you like to do in your free time and why do you enjoy doing it?
I love to spend my free time with my husband and daughter. I believe that family is the most important thing in this world. I also love playing soccer and exercising. Staying active and fit reminds me of my youth and I love it.

What’s your favorite funny story about yourself?

My mom always tells a story about me from when I was a little girl in Florida that captures part of my personality…Cheerleading was big amongst the girls in my area and the cheerleaders would cheer on the sidelines at the boy’s football games on Saturdays. When I was 5 my mom asked me if I wanted to be a cheerleader and go cheer at the boy’s football games. She said I had a confused look on my face for a second and then I responded, “I don’t want to go cheer at someone else’s games. Why don’t the cheerleaders come to my games and cheer for me?”

What was your favorite toy (or game) as a child, and why?
When I was a kid we would play manhunt with the entire neighborhood and I absolutely loved it. We would dress up in black and camouflage and run and hide all over our little cul-de-sac. I loved being able to spent time with all my friends and I love the hiding and running and climbing of the game.

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