Christine Fryer is a teacher at the High School for Law Advocacy and Community Justice in Brooklyn, New York. She is also the Claes Nobel 2018 TOP EDUCATOR OF THE YEAR.
Ms. Fryer recently answered some questions about her experience and advice wtih the NSHSS community.
Q: What inspired you to become a high school teacher?
A: I have always loved working with children. My initial career was in the criminal justice system working specifically with at-risk youth. I realized that I would be much more effective as a high school teacher than as a lawyer.
Q: What do you love about being an educator?
A: I love watching students grow and learn. I take profound joy in watching students develop confidence through the slow slog of work. I have learned so very much from my students about life. My students have taught me empathy, patience, and joy at the little things in life.
Q: What is the greatest piece of advice you have ever received?
A: I have received a lot of good advice along my life journey. First, if you do not apply you cannot be accepted or rejected. Of course, this comes with the hard work that ensures your application is competitive. Like many people, I struggle with procrastination so, if you are thinking about it, just do it, whatever "it" is.
Q: What one piece of advice would you give to incoming new teachers?
A: Teaching is a craft and is the responsibility of the teacher to constantly grow and evolve. Also, if you find yourself saying "the students can't, or the students don't," check your process and figure out what is lacking in your instruction.
Q: How has NSHSS impacted your career as an educator?
A: I have met a wide variety of talented educators and students. The scholars I have met and worked with are exceptional and give me hope for the future. NSHSS is a model for students who go to schools with limited resources and who are dedicated and driven to succeed.
Q: What do you see as the biggest benefit of an NSHSS membership for your students?
A: Resources, resources, and resources. I mean this with all sincerity. Whether they are human capital resources or college essay writing resources, NSHSS is a wonderful institution where talented young people are allowed to meet like-minded individuals and discover the tools to be successful in high school, college, and beyond.
Q: What is currently on your reading list?
A: "Becoming" by Michelle Obama, "Still Life with Rice" by Helie Lee, and "Dear and America Notes of an Undocumented Citizen" by Jose Vargas.
Q: What are some activities you participate in outside of the classroom?
A: Reading, eating, and being with the friends and family I love.
Since 2002, NSHSS has supported young academics on their journey to college and beyond as they prepare to become the leaders of tomorrow. The mission behind NSHSS is to recognize academic excellence and honor high-achieving students, providing them with the resources and network to excel in college, career and community. In doing so, NSHSS connects members with global events, scholarships, college fairs, internships, career and leadership programs, partner discounts, and more. Discover what makes NSHSS worth it to student members and how you can get involved.
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