"It’s all about the students, getting them involved and showing them the steps to success."
With more than 20 years’ experience at classroom, middle and senior leadership level across a number of schools and with a particular passion for Modern Foreign Languages, Crista is an educator whose heart is very much in the classroom. And by heart, we mean heart and soul.
For Crista, getting the teaching right is about connecting with students at an honest, caring and fundamental level that puts ‘unconditional positive regard’ front and centre at all times.
Although she is an experienced head of department, pastoral leader, pedagogical and pastoral champion, a national council member of the Association for Language Learning and one of the ‘Top 100 people to follow on Twitter’, she is also is an outstanding classroom practitioner and trainer when it comes to the teaching of Modern Foreign Languages.
And by outstanding, that is to say ‘outstanding’.
Her passion for teaching in general and MFL in particular is best summed up for us when Crista once told us the following:
‘I have always wanted to be an MFL teacher, ever since that first French lesson in middle school.’
It is this passion and enthusiasm that is so contagious when you work with her.
This session has awakened our yearning to get down and deep with deep learning, so thank you to Crista who has shown what it is to embrace a world constantly turning
You’ve helped me think outside of the box and consider using interesting items and objects around us to inspire learning
Fascinating session! Looking at things so differently now
As part of my training I’m headed to Uganda and Malawi, I was nervous but I have so many brilliant ideas now, thank you!
A really positive start to the new term. Thank you for making us all feel good and raring to go.
The training was superbly delivered and it really hit the spot on all three of our values: faith, excellence and respect. Crista did a great job of reinforcing some of our nonnegotiable teaching and learning expectations.
Creativity helps to engage students! We must really think outside of the box - so many ideas here, thank you!
Thank you so much for your energy and passion - the little changes that make a big difference have really got me thinking about developing my practice to get more out of my students
Super inset, thoroughly enjoyable and rewarding! Thanks for coming!
Whether she is working in small groups or whole-school sessions with teachers, TAs, NQTs, RQTs, middle or senior leaders or directly with students themselves, Crista is keen to share practical ideas that make schools more effective, happier and more caring places. She also has a great track record when it comes to working with individual teachers to help them move from 'capability' to more than capable.
What’s more, she brings this experience and passion to bear on a number of key issues in schools today from creativity in lesson planning and building relationships with even your most difficult class to really getting to grips with assessment, differentiation and deep learning.
All with a healthy mix of well-being and emotional health, ensuring schools are much more than the data factories they are being pushed to be. (To which end she has recently qualified as a Mental Health First Aider.)
On top of all this UK classroom experience, Crista has also spent time working under our umbrella in Ghana as part of efforts to support education in developing countries for schools who can barely afford desks, let alone world-class training.
Working across a number of local schools with fellow Independent Thinking Associate and traveller, Lisa Jane Ashes, Crista supported teachers in developing their classroom practice, introducing a range of strategies through practical activities addressing behaviour for learning and other classroom strategies and approaches that put the learning, not the teaching, at the heart of the classroom.
If you’re looking for no-nonsense and eminently practical school improvement strategies that start in the classroom – and start with relationships - then Crista is who you are looking for.
- Crista has been with Independent Thinking since November 2014
- You'll find her in our Teaching and Learning and Well-Being topic areas
- You can watch Crista in conversation with Claire Gadsby and Ian Gilbert in 2020 here
- You might also want to consider Claire Gadsby or Jackie Beere
- Ask us about Crista's prices and current availability and for details on how to save money when you book, click here.
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