My name is Christopher Lister. Originally from England, I lived and worked in Canada for the last 15 years. I am a little distracted in many areas of life right now as my partner and I are expecting our first child in the coming weeks. Together, we hope to figure out how to juggle the demands of school, work, and family life as the year progresses and our family grows.
I have been directly involved in education for close to 10 years now, and I am looking forward to deepening my understanding of student engagement, motivation, and generally working on having more fun with the students I work with. I work in the Chilliwack School District (SD#33) and for the last five years I have worked at Central Elementary Community School in downtown Chilliwack as a grade 5-6 teacher. I enjoy the incredible freedom I have been given to plan activities, lessons, and learning opportunities that motivate and engage my students, but wonder if this freedom has meant that curriculum/learning design has taken a backseat.
Instead of answering the question, “What would like to teach the world?” I feel more comfortable commenting on what I would like to share with the world. In 2010 I was working at Central Elementary School, and my principal at the time, Scott Wallace, called me into his office one day to gauge my interest in an event called We Day. He had arrange for me and my teaching partner to take our grade 6’s to the event in Vancouver. At the time I did not recall the conversation as meaningfully as I do now, as this event, the spirit of We Day, and the impact it has had on the students who have bought into the movement is difficult to describe in words. We Day is a movement to encourage youth to participate in social justice issue both locally and globally. The message of We Day is loud and clear: There are many people in this world who, for reasons such as poverty, hunger, lack of education, lack of sufficient health care, and unclean water, are unable to reach their full potential in life. When large numbers of youth get together, educated themselves, be empowered by mentors, and take action, they can create positive social change. We Day changed the way I teach, it re energizes me when I get bogged down in curriculum, assessments, and meaningfully standardized testing, and it caused me to reevaluate how much I was contributing to the world around me.
How will I share this with the world? Well, I plan to continue to present opportunities for my students to participate in events that relate to positive social change through a partnership with Free The Children. Personally, I plan to evaluate how much I contribute to the word around me, and look for opportunities to enhance and enrich my local community. In fact, I am currently searching for the right opportunity to increase my volunteer time.