Noah Gilbert

Christina Palmer listening to a student and helping them understand their work.

Christina Palmer

October 21, 2019

Christina Palmer worked as a teacher in Prairie City Monroe High school (PCMHS) before coming here. There are about 350 total kids at that high school. Compared to the 1900 students at JHS, this is a big change for her. Palmer attended East High School and was on their soccer team and practiced with the track team. Palmer attended Grandview University, first majoring in Photo Journalism then changed her major to become a teacher.

Palmer teaches Integrated Language Arts, and Teen in the World. Palmer likes English because she loves how it allows for a story to be told. “In English class, everyone has a story to tell and this is the class where you can do that,” Palmer said  “Being somebody who makes a difference is really what inspired me to be a teacher.”

Palmer has many goals for the year, one of those goals includes making students feel comfortable, “Ultimately I just want students to feel safe when they are in my classroom,” Palmer said. “I also want them to feel comfortable coming to me with any sort of questions or concerns, even if it’s not about school.” Teachers are striving to make connections with students and Palmer is expanding that idea to a much larger level.

One of Palmers favorite memories is when she went skydiving for her 25th Birthday in August of 2016, and how it changed her life. “It changed my life for a variety of reasons,” Palmer said. “I mean I’ve never been really one to live off the edge, but it was an exhilarating experience that I got to be fully present for, and for me that really taught me to be present in the moment.”

Along with learning to be present in the moment, she also got a new perspective on the world. “I literally got a new perspective on things and I was able to really look at the world in a much different way and appreciate it,” Palmer said.

Skydiving has helped her in her teaching by giving her a great example to share with her students. “If you think about skydiving it very much like the plot diagram,” Palmer said. “You start on the ground and then you slowly rise up into the air until the big moment when you have to make that choice and you drop, you fall, and everything that comes after it is how the story falls and how everything goes into place, and by the end of it, you’re left with this experience that you can look back on and say, ‘Wow I did that!’”

Learning to trust others and put her life and faith in others’ hands is another important skill she learned from her whole experience. “Learning to trust others, especially those who have put in the work and time to become experts is important and hard to do,” Palmer said. “But there’s kind of a point where it’s no longer in your control.”

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