Although she didn’t originally start out on that path, TCS first grade teacher Christi Schwalk always knew her true calling, to be a teacher.
Christi grew up a long way from Central Florida in Roswell, New Mexico. “I met my husband Tim when we were in elementary school (although we didn’t start dating until college),” she says. “We have one daughter, Kenley, age 7. Together as a family, we love traveling, watching movies, playing board games and just spending time together. I also love to read, draw and do anything involving arts and crafts. I’ve actually taken many painting lessons and classes and have two of my own paintings hanging in my house. I always challenge myself to read as many books as I can in one year and I love to read all types of books. And, I really love to cook! I enjoy cooking because you don’t have to use precise measurements. I don’t like baking though, it’s much too precise for me!”
“When I started college, I planned on being a pediatric nurse,” says Christi. “At the college I was attending in Texas, many of the nursing classes overlapped with early childhood education classes, so I was constantly around other people that were training to be teachers. Eventually, I realized that I was meant to be a teacher. My grandmother was a college professor and my mom was a teacher and then a guidance counselor, so I have always been around teachers and fell in love with helping children learn.”
“When Tim and I moved to Florida from Texas, I was looking for a job while I finished my degree at UCF,” Christi continues. “That’s when I found out about The Christ School. I started working as a receptionist in the school office. I also did billing for a while.”
Christi continues, “I really feel that teaching is my calling. it’s not just a job. I also particularly feel that I am called to teaching in a Christian school. I enjoy infusing God into all subjects and watching the children grow spiritually and academically. I love being the classroom and knowing that everyday will be different. I love to make learning fun and to help children think and challenge themselves. I enjoy first grade students because they are so loving and fun! Six and seven year olds have a zest for life and are joyful! Our class loves doing Go Noodle and any activity on our iPads. One of my favorite things that we do in class each day are to begin and end with prayer. I love hearing them pray for each other.”
“My favorite thing about TCS is the people I work with,” she shares. “They make each day fun, they are supportive and are like my family. We have laughed, cried and prayed each other through many different circumstances and I am thankful for their friendship. I am especially thankful for my own daughter attending school here at TCS. I went to a private Christian elementary school very similar to TCS and realize as an adult how much it shaped my worldview. I still remember Bible verses I learned in elementary school. I am grateful that Kenley is in an environment where she is challenged, lovingly corrected, and encouraged to grow spiritually.”
Christi shares her favorite Bible verse:
For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. – Romans 8:38-39