Mimio Educator

Crysta Baier

Crysta Baier is a librarian/computer teacher in Edgerton, Kansas. She has been in the field of education for 20 years, teaching high school English, GED classes, and now working at the elementary level. Crysta, her husband and their two kids live in Overland Park, Kansas.

Recent Posts

Using Code.org in the Elementary Computer Classroom

Posted by Crysta Baier on Wed, Mar 13, 2019

Back in September, I was sitting in a district computer teacher meeting discussing activities we used in our classrooms. My colleagues mentioned how they participate in the Hour of Code and other coding activities. Meanwhile, I was sliding down in my seat, embarrassed that I wasn’t doing the same cool activities as the others.

I have only been teaching computer class for five years, and I’m still learning how to balance life as a teacher/librarian as well as a technology instructor. Still, I want to do well on the technology side of my job. Instead of sitting around and feeling incompetent, I got online and found out more information about Code.org—an organization that sponsors the Hour of Code and a website that provides resources for teachers. Code.org also offers many professional development opportunities; I found a workshop close to home and signed up.

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Topics: STEM Lessons, Coding

March 2nd Is Read Across America Day: Learn Why Every School Should Participate

Posted by Crysta Baier on Fri, Mar 1, 2019

I started my career teaching high school English. If you’d asked me back then about promoting  Read Across America (RAA) Day, I would have thought you were crazy. Why would we celebrate Dr. Seuss’s birthday at the high school level when we could be focusing on Shakespeare, Thoreau, or Steinbeck? I’ve learned a lot over the years, and I know this to be true: Dr. Seuss never goes out of style. These books are fun, clever, and nostalgic—they turn children into readers and teach life lessons. They honor reading and show us how to be good citizens and friends. As an educator, parent, and lover of books, I urge teachers at all levels to plan a Read Across America celebration. Here are some reasons why: 

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Topics: tips for teachers

New Year, New Beginnings!

Posted by Crysta Baier on Tue, Jan 8, 2019

I’m a sucker for new beginnings—the chance to be a better me at home and at work. I love the sense of starting over, improving, and making changes that a new year offers. Each January, I try to write out personal and professional goals, usually things like “be more organized” or “keep my desk clean.” (If you saw my desk, you’d see why this is a yearly goal!)

The professional goals I want to make this year are more resolutions of the heart, in how I engage with the students I teach and how I approach my vocation. Here are my new beginnings for 2019—I hope they also help you as you begin your new year of teaching!

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Topics: Professional Development for Teachers, tips for teachers

This Year, I’m Thankful for Teaching

Posted by Crysta Baier on Wed, Nov 21, 2018

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Topics: tips for teachers

Observing Other Teachers: A Different Kind of Professional Development

Posted by Crysta Baier on Wed, Oct 31, 2018

On September 24, my district had an in-service day. The homeroom teachers in my building were piloting a new writing program and were asked to attend a training. This left specialist teachers with nothing to do, as we would not need to be trained on this new program.

We were all wondering what our duties would be for the day when we received an email from our principal encouraging us to make arrangements to observe in another district for the day. She proceeded to help us find schools to host us—fellow teachers will understand why this was amazing. When do we ever have the time to go to other districts without painstaking measures of using personal days and arranging for subs? And how many of us have principals who understand the importance of observing others in our same content area?

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Topics: Professional Development for Teachers, Training, tips for teachers

My Many-Colored Classroom Days (or How to Manage a Classroom)

Posted by Crysta Baier on Wed, Oct 24, 2018

When I began my career in education, the current theory was “Don’t smile until December.” I tried that, and I can tell you it didn’t work. The way to manage a class isn’t to pretend to be stoic and uncaring—you need to get to know your students and learn techniques to create a positive learning environment. Both rookie and veteran teachers alike benefit from learning and relearning classroom management strategies. Here are five online resources to help you with your management techniques. I hope they can be of use to you.

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Topics: tips for teachers

End-of-the-Year Tips From a Very Tired Teacher

Posted by Crysta Baier on Tue, May 22, 2018

The days are both dragging along and speeding by. I’m increasingly tired and maybe a little more sharp-tongued than usual. I feel like I’m limping—or maybe even crawling—to the finish line. My desk is stacked high with papers that I don’t have the energy to file, and my stamina is on a decline. It’s that time of year a teacher both loves and dreads: The last month of school. The end of the line.

How do we, my fellow teaching companions, get through this difficult time when our students forget the rules and procedures we spent nine months teaching them? Here are some strategies that may help us more fully enjoy (or, at the very least, survive!) these last few weeks:

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Topics: tips for teachers

Teaching Champs: Those Who Teach, Inspire—and (Almost) Never Tire

Posted by Crysta Baier on Thu, May 17, 2018

I have wanted to be a teacher since the 4th grade. Even when I wasn’t sure what content area I wanted to teach, I knew that I wanted to work with kids and affect lives. You see, I’ve always loved school—ever since the day I set foot in Mrs. Keethler’s kindergarten class at Lincoln Elementary. It’s the combination of my love of school and respect for teachers that led me to become a teacher myself. In reflecting last week on teaching during Teacher Appreciation Week, I’d like to recognize some teachers who have influenced me. Some of these are teachers who had me in class, others are teachers I work with or those who had my children. All of these teachers have one thing in common: They have positively impacted my teaching.

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Topics: tips for teachers

Family STEAM Night

Posted by Crysta Baier on Wed, Apr 4, 2018

STEAM activities are an educational goldmine these days, and schools across the country are finding innovative ways to incorporate STEAM within their buildings. There are multitudes of Pinterest activities, websites, articles, and books on this very topic. My school decided that a fun way to utilize STEAM activities—and teach families about STEAM—would be through a family night. This event would let students and their parents work together, build, play, and learn.

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Resignation: Why I Left Teaching—and Why I Eventually Returned

Posted by Crysta Baier on Wed, Mar 7, 2018
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Topics: tips for teachers

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