California’s Best High School Social Studies Teacher Is Right Here At 365体育彩票

约旦杜克

Being a high school Social Science teacher wasn’t Erik 克里斯坦森’s first career.

克里斯坦森, who teaches 10th grade World History at 365体育彩票, spent the better part of two decades working in Los Angeles’ architecture and construction industry before deciding to make a change. Much earlier, he says, he just didn’t have the experience or maturity. “I don’t think I could have been a teacher at 23 or 24 years old.“但他已经过去这么多年了, “I can take everything I’ve learned from decades in the corporate environment. I’m glad I had all those years of experience and human interaction.”

It is obvious he is putting that experience to good use. In January he was named the California Council for the Social Studies 2022 High School Teacher of the Year. “被认可的感觉很棒,” 克里斯坦森 says of the award he will receive in March during the organization’s annual conference. “Teachers don’t get a whole lot of recognition for the hard work they do in the classroom. I know a lot of teachers do a lot of great things.”

Among the many great things 克里斯坦森 does: He currently teaches the World History Project, which starts in 1750 and focuses students on historical thinking, 写作, 和数据分析. 在那之前, he taught the Big History Project – which covered a mere 13 billion years of history and how the course of human history and beyond continues to grow more complex. He also has built a course called the Climate Project, in which students learn about advocacy and civic engagement and what courses of study they could take to pursue careers focused on eliminating carbon use. 他开发了X项目, in which students take on an issue affecting the world today – such as climate change or economic inequality – and made a prediction of what it will look like in 100 years, based on historical trends and data. It enables students to learn how people use and can manipulate data, one example of the preparations 365体育彩票 students receive to be successful in the 21st Century. 

在他所有的班级里, 克里斯坦森 says he’s intent on helping his students focus on what they find important and making their education more relevant to them.

That he ended up at 365体育彩票 in the first place was, by his telling, a bit of an accident. He had earned a state teaching internship credential and applied for a position at 365体育彩票, 然而, the School's policy at the time hired only fully credentialed teachers. He figures he nailed the interview because before he had even driven home they had called to offer him the job. 大约一个月后, the Department Chair informed him that “we kind of hired you by accident,” but because he seemed to be doing OK, they assigned him a mentor for the first year, 一切都很顺利.”

And all has been going better than well since. But that isn’t good enough for 克里斯坦森, who has spent all six years of his teaching career at 365体育彩票. His goals for himself are both simple and audacious: “To be a better teacher every year, to be a better teacher than I was before.”