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

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

Plan a Day (or Week!) of Reading Fun With Read Across America

Posted by Crysta Baier on Wed, Feb 28, 2018

“I know—let’s make green eggs and ham and let the kids sample it!” exclaimed my principal as I shared the first draft of my plans for our 2018 Read Across America (RAA) celebration. Her voice was filled with the same excitement that fills the whole school when March 2 rolls around. At Edgerton Elementary, we love Read Across America Day so much that we turn it into a week of events. Sure, it takes time to plan, gather, organize, and execute, but the time spent creating a grand celebration for Dr. Seuss’s birthday is well worth the effort. Let me tell you how—and why—we plan the week-long festivities. 

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Topics: Lessons, Administrator Resources, tips for teachers

Snow Day = Me Day

Posted by Crysta Baier on Wed, Jan 10, 2018

It’s no secret that kids LOVE a good snow day when school is called off and they can lay around the house all day long. But don’t be fooled—teachers love a well-timed snow day as much as the kids! During the dreary winter months, the kids get a little crazy, everyone’s feeling a little down, and teachers get tired. A snow day can serve as a much-needed day of rest for overworked teachers.

What do teachers do on snow days, you might be wondering? I’m sure that some may plan lessons and catch up on grading, but in my opinion, teachers should take the day off to recharge.

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Topics: tips for teachers

New Year’s Resolutions of an Elementary Teacher

Posted by Crysta Baier on Thu, Jan 4, 2018

I love a clean slate, a new calendar, and the optimism that a new year brings. I enjoy the idea of making positive changes for myself and those around me. A new year pushes me to think about my life and resolve to do better. The same applies to my teaching—it’s a great opportunity for me to set goals for myself in the classroom, so I’ve come up with six teaching resolutions for 2018. I think these resolutions will be beneficial for myself, my students, and maybe even other educators out there.

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Topics: tips for teachers

STEAM Activities in the Elementary Library

Posted by Crysta Baier on Wed, Oct 25, 2017

STEM (and now STEAM) has been an educational buzzword for a while now. Just in case you didn’t know, STEAM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics. Stop by any teacher lounge in any district at any grade level, and you may hear the teachers discussing what STEAM activities they are implementing. Though I am not a homeroom teacher, I have been able to build time into my curriculum for STEAM activities—and not any just STEAM activities, but ones tied to children’s literature. Let me share a few things I’ve done in the elementary library.

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What Teaching Has Taught Me

Posted by Crysta Baier on Thu, Sep 21, 2017

For the last twenty-something years, I’ve been a teacher. I’m extremely proud of my vocation—I see the reactions I get when I tell people I teach, and I am always glad to get to talk about what I do. Most people know that teaching is not easy. It’s tiring, heart-wrenching, and frustrating at times, but it is also fun, energizing, and amazing at its best. Teaching has given me a purpose, a paycheck, and wisdom. I’d like to share with you some lessons I’ve learned from teaching that apply both in the classroom and the real world:

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Topics: tips for teachers

Free (or Nearly Free!) Summer Activities

Posted by Crysta Baier on Tue, Jun 27, 2017

Teachers, I know what you’re thinking. You’re just a few weeks into summer and your own kids are already bouncing off the walls. They’ve gone to the pool, slept in, and played with the neighborhood kids, but now you hear your offspring saying the words that we sometimes hear our students say: “I’m bored.” What do you do now? How can you entertain the kids without blowing the budget? Here are some activities you can try this summer that are either free or of a minimal cost:

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Topics: Activities, tips for teachers

I’m a Teacher: How Do I Stay Sane?

Posted by Crysta Baier on Thu, May 4, 2017

Teaching is a hard job. Even if you aren’t a teacher—heck, even if you don’t have kids—you would probably agree that teaching is tough. Teachers are on their feet most of the day, delivering lessons while blocking out eye rolls, yawns, nose-picking, kids leaning back in their chairs, excessive talking, students playing on “hidden” devices, bodily noises, and more. Why do we do it? It’s certainly not for the money or accolades. Yet, nothing quite compares to the feeling of a good day of teaching when things go right, kids respond, and you feel like you’ve gotten through to your students. 

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Topics: education industry, tips for teachers

Voting without Tears: How to Hold a Mock Election and Avoid Negative Election Talk

Posted by Crysta Baier on Mon, Nov 7, 2016

I love my job. As an elementary computer teacher/media specialist, I have lots of freedom in what I teach and how I teach it. The standards I teach can be met in a variety of ways, so my job never gets dull. I get to be a help desk, search engine, science teacher, reading coach, typing instructor, social studies teacher, and more. As the 2016 presidential election approached, I was given the task of conducting a mock election for my school. I was nervous. I was fearful that all the vitriol in the media would spill over to my students, and I truly didn’t want to foster any more hate, fear or disrespect.

So before preparing for our mock election, I thought hard about what I could do to avoid negative election talk. I decided to prepare a lesson in library class ahead of time and teach a few ideas to my students. Here’s what I came up with.

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Topics: Lessons, curriculum

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