We’re highlighting a teacher every Wednesday as a part of the #RedForEd campaign.

Every year is a great year to celebrate our teachers, but this year has shined a bright light on the flexibility and compassion of our incredible staff.

Today we’re highlighting Mrs. Crystal Harris, a 5th grade teacher at Rio Grande Elementary School.

What motivates you?
What motivates me the most is the little moments in the classroom when you’re watching a student who has been working on a difficult concept and they finally have that moment when they get it.  Seeing their eyes light up and look at me like the world just opened up before them is truly an inspiring experience.

How has your job changed due to COVID?
With all of the demands of our profession, COVID has been one of the most challenging. I’ve had to reinvent how to organize our classroom, procedures, supplies, and students in a whole new way. Just walking to and from encore classes took some getting used to. But I also have been so proud of my fifth grade students and the way they are stepping into these new roles with enthusiasm and maturity.

What is something that people don’t understand about your job?Our profession is constantly changing and my day does not end at 3:15.  I used to go home every evening with a bag of papers to grade and a plan book to check over. Now with the introduction of our Chromebooks, most of the assignments that I grade are on Canvas. The new technology has also allowed my students and their parents the ability to contact me outside of our regular school hours. Just this weekend, two of my students were working on science projects and they were able to ask me a quick question that previously would have had to wait until Monday morning. 

Why do you love VCSC/your school?
For me, coming to Rio Grande every morning is like coming home.  I was a second grade student here when the school opened and a couple of years ago I actually taught third grade in the room in which I was a third grader.  Coming to school and knowing that EVERY single adult in the building is dedicated to enhancing the lives of our students is the best feeling in the world!

Be sure to check back on #Staffurday–Saturday, that is–as we recognize members of our non-teaching staff. We’ll continue both campaigns through the end of the school year.