Third-grade teacher Morgan Christensen is CCSD's 2021-22 Teacher of the Year!

 

Morgan Christensen with student

 

Congratulations to Summit Elementary’s Morgan Christensen for being named Cache County School District's Teacher of the Year! Christensen is currently in her fifth year of teaching third grade.

 

From the time she was young, Christensen was passionate about learning. In her childhood cul de sac, she would collect books to read that other neighborhood kids didn’t want at the end of the school year. When Christensen was in junior high school, her family moved from Oregon to Utah. She came to Cache Valley to complete her STEM endorsement while her husband was finishing up school. Christensen and her husband recently became first-time parents, welcoming a son to their family.   

 

Christensen is passionate about using engagement strategies in her classroom. She keeps students engaged in either three different movements or three different responses. For example, when a student answers a question, their classmates will put their hands together in an arrow shape and point to the person speaking to show that they are listening. When students know the answer to a question or have a question, Christensen invites them to stand up in order to get them moving and get their wiggles out. 

 

Christensen in her classroom with students

 

Creating a safe space for students is something fundamental to Christensen. She encourages children in her class to express their feelings and hopes they feel like they can have a different opinion. “I want them to feel safe here. I love the curriculum, but there is nothing better than building that relationship and letting them know that I’m here for them.” Christensen explained. She emphasizes to her students that it is okay to have different opinions than other people do. 

 

 “I know they're not going to remember all of the little things, but they will remember how I make them feel. I want them to continue on in school and I let them know this is their safe haven,” Christensen shared. “When they know that I value them and what they think, then they're going to love being here.” 

 

Summit Elementary’s principal Aimee McNeil admires how dedicated Christensen is to her profession and appreciates her natural ability to build positive relationships with staff, students, and parents. “I have been impressed with her confidence, her ability to collaborate, and her actions as a team player who goes above and beyond what is asked of her,” McNeil explained. “Her efforts, combined with genuine interactions with her students, create a culture of community in her classroom evidenced by student collaboration, academic conversation, and high student engagement.”

 

Christensen is grateful to everyone who has helped teach, inspire, and shape her into the teacher she is today. “It’s nice to feel recognized for what I’ve done,” she said, “but I also hope everyone who has helped me and taught me knows that this award is 100% their award too.”