We are proud to introduce our sixteenth Sunday Spotlight, featuring Krista Hernandez who is a Math Teacher at the Lewis Central High School in Council Bluffs, Iowa. Krista loves warm chocolate chip cookies, the first day of school, and providing students with experiences that take them outside the traditional math classroom. It was a delight learning about Krista and her teaching stories! We hope you enjoy the interview too!
High School Math
Lewis Central High School
Council Bluffs, Iowa
6 years working in education
“My motivation to become a teacher was to provide students with experiences that pushed them outside of a traditional math classroom. I had experiences in math where even though I performed well, the classes were boring and monotonous. I wanted to be a math teacher that was different than what I had growing up.”
Get to know Krista Hernandez
What do you love about working in education? What motivates you?
My favorite part about teaching is being around students and interacting with their vastly different personalities. I always get nervous for the first day of school but as soon as my students come in, I calm down. Most of my students are still naive about the real world and bring a sense of positivity and humor to my day.
Why did you become a teacher?
My motivation to become a teacher was to provide students with experiences that pushed them outside of a traditional math classroom. I had experiences in math where even though I performed well, the classes were boring and monotonous. I wanted to be a math teacher that was different than what I had growing up.
What is your “Edulastic story”?
Edulastic came from a need to quickly assess students. Whether it was an exit ticket, or a quick formative, I was searching for a software that would allow my students to graph, and tell them if their graph was correct.
Describe your favorite Edulastic “aha” moment.
When I found Edulastic, and realized its capability, it provided me with yet another option that I hadn’t previous thought I needed. I was also trying to increase rigor in my room because of the new that we were switching to Smarter Balanced (which has yet to happen) and wanted to prepare my students for that type of an environment and with different types of questions that other online tools had yet been able to provide.
Sum up your teaching philosophy in a few sentences!
Share a favorite motivational quote or motivating idea.
What was your greatest accomplishment this past year?
My student’s conversation has gotten better and it’s reassuring to know that the connections students are making from having the conversation is worth having the expectation in place.
Tips for new Edulastic users:
Edulastic is a learning curve. I’ve had some problems with how students submit their answers because of formatting errors. It has proven to be quick and has allowed me to give feedback directly to students once you iron out the kinks..
Favorite Edulastic question type?
I originally like Edulastic for the graphing feature but I use the drag and drop as well as the matching tables a lot.
Favorite snack while using Edulastic
Favorite snack ever is warm chocolate chip cookies, but haven’t had the opportunity to use Edulastic and have warm cookies to munch on yet.
Coffee or tea?
Spring or Fall?
Best tactic for getting the class quiet?
Must- have classroom Decor:
Color! I have plenty of 8.5 x 11 card stock in my room that has problem solving strategies, open mindset statements, and mathematical discourse questions. All on plenty of different colored paper.
Favorite time of the school year and why:
First day of school. Every kid comes to school somewhat curious to see their new teachers or to revisit with old teachers. Also, the best behavior day of the year.
Kindest compliment you have received from a student or teacher?
I like coming to your class. I never know what to expect.
Funniest moment on the job?
I had a student one year talk about how to discipline small children. He then went on to say “If you were one of my children, and you were being naughty, I’d spank you.” He continued down that path until everyone including my co-teacher was in tears from laughing so hard. Until some kid said “Dude, you’re not making it any better. Just stop.” First year of teaching high school and I knew I was going to fit right in.
How do you like to spend your free time?
I know Aquarius is an air sign, but the name says aqua in it so I’m destined to be a water person. Any type of water sport (water skiing or just being on a boat in the middle of a lake) makes me happy. I’m also a music person so shopping for records or listening to music.