Educator Spotlight: Meet Kristen Lyon
Fresh perspective enlivens Spanish teacher in Rhode Island
This story is part of a series that celebrates Teacher Appreciation Month. Each day, we will introduce to you an outstanding educator within the Flipgrid community. Stories by Angela Tewalt.
Kristen Lyon is a Spanish teacher who used to be a guidance counselor, and is there anything else that can provide greater empathy in the classroom than that?
But she also has cutouts of Keith Urban’s face, pinatas hung from the ceiling and will likely break out into Colombian song or dance during class, so she’s also a lot of fun atop a warm heart.
After 30 years of teaching, Ms. Lyon is happier than ever, and she wants her students to be, too.
“I feel like I have more fun now than I ever did, because I see life differently than I used to in my 20s or 30s,” says Kristen, who teaches at Middletown High School in Rhode Island. “I just have a much different perspective. I want to have fun at what I’m doing, and I want my kids to have fun. Why wouldn’t you want to go to work and have fun?”
We’ll dance to that.
Transition into the Classroom
Kristen never set out to teach Spanish – or become a counselor. She actually wanted to be a journalist, but she rides the surprises in life in the same way she chooses music over lectures – with complete abandon.
“I made a risky move – I really haven’t met anyone who goes into the classroom after being in the counselor’s office – but the experience of counseling helped me to understand that relationships are more important than the content, so I’m as positive and engaged as I can be for my students. It’s been fabulous.”
KRISTEN AND HER COLLEAGUE LUIS OLIVEIRA VISITED THE FLIPGRID OFFICE IN MINNESOTA.
Kristen says the difference between being a teacher and being a counselor is the environment in which you engage – in a classroom, both the teacher and the students can imagine and shape their world to be whatever they want it to be, whereas, in a counselor’s office, you are dealing with and healing in an environment that is already set in place.
“I had wonderful, positive moments in guidance, and I really do believe that I’m a much better and more understanding teacher because of it,” Kristen says. “Now, I’m a new person. I feel like I’m learning again.”
THE FLIPGRID TEAM VISITED MIDDLETOWN HIGH SCHOOL.