Humans of Palatine: Lauren Christians

Lauren Christians smiles through her day as she student teaches multiple sections of Astronomy and Earth Science classes throughout first semester.
Lauren Christians smiles through her day as she student teaches multiple sections of Astronomy and Earth Science classes throughout first semester.
Noah Anselmo

For most learning educators pursuing their degree through college, it’s necessary to find an apprenticeship in a teaching program to complete required hours and gain experience.

Lauren Christians is doing just that. Having graduated Schaumburg High School in 2020 and further attending Illinois State University in Normal, Christians returned to District 211 a few years later to student teach and get a start on her career as a science teacher. 

“I’ve always really liked working with students and interacting with people,” Chistians said. “And so this line of work kind of combines all of that together. I also really enjoy science. I feel like this is a career where I get to do all of these and at the same time make a difference and impact students on a daily basis.”

Every day, Miss Christians pulls up the Astronomy Picture of the Day (APOD) for students to interpret and analyze. (Noah Anselmo)

One of the most difficult things in her pursuit of a career in education was finding proper motivation and peers who shared the same passion as her in college. Furthermore, it’s not easy learning when you have a global virus putting everyone in a frenzy. 

“My biggest challenge in college was without a doubt learning under COVID restrictions,” Christians said. “I was going through all these core classes and never finding a connection or outlet with anyone. I didn’t have any social support. Nevertheless. I found motivation through my academic studies and my persistent belief that things would get better. And they most certainly did.”

Christians does most of the work of a normal teacher, added that she is only 4 years older than the current seniors at Palatine, with that age gap comes easier relatability but also a certain amount of respect that must be earned.

“I student teach five classes, three sections of Earth Science and two of Astronomy,” Christians said. “Although it’s supervised by the respective teacher, I am able to be by myself as I set up labs, take attendance, grade homework and quizzes, the everyday teacher stuff. And I see my age as a benefit and a challenge, I don’t get given respect off the bat, but I know I have better connections with the generation that can make earning it quicker and easier.”

With the classes that Christians supervises, she gets to experience almost every grade level from Sophomores to Seniors. This allows her to not only understand the qualities of most of the high school grade levels but also allows the students to get a feel of what the student teacher assistant position entails.

Student teacher Lauren Christians helps senior Frida Campos with her astronomy assignment. (Noah Anselmo)

“I can tell that Miss Christians really cares about what she’s teaching,” senior Frida Campos said. “She wants us to learn and succeed in the Astronomy field and I admire her for that, plus I don’t get to see many young teachers in all the years I’ve been in school so it’s a new experience for everyone on both sides. I can talk with her in a formal way that I can’t do with most other teachers.”

Christians biggest influence was a middle school teacher she looked up to during her elementary years. She hopes to follow in her footsteps and provide students with an engaging learning experience during and after her time as a student teacher at Palatine.

“When I was a student, I really struggled with reading and writing,” Christians said. “But I had this awesome, amazing sixth grade teacher who went above and beyond. She helped me individually and would stay after school and help me to properly comprehend reading and writing. So I credit a lot of my academic success to her, and I feel like she is what pushed me towards education. Her name was Mrs. Delay.”

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