As the Fourth-Grade All-Inclusive Teacher at Brandywine Elementary School, Christine Lambert said her favorite aspect of teaching is helping students become more confident and independent.
“The easiest and fastest way I see this transformation in my classroom is through reading. Usually by mid-year, students are anxiously anticipating the next novel. This transition in my students is extremely rewarding. There is a definitive change in their perspective when it comes to reading challenging texts. Along with this transition and maturity, my students make connections across the curriculum and critically think about the world around them. This leads to in-depth meaningful discussions and questions that showcase their growth.”
Mrs. Lambert can relate to the struggles some students have in the classroom and admits her own educational journey was filled with challenges.
“My biggest struggles were math and spelling. However, I grew up in a family of educators and I believe that, along with my passion for helping others, heavily influenced my decision. I chose to become an educator because I wanted to help my students feel empowered. As an educator, I believe helping students realize their strengths and their potential is the most rewarding part of my job.”
In 2011, Mrs. Lambert began working as an AmeriCorps Volunteer Teacher in her hometown, where she worked for two school years. In 2013, she made the move to accept the Reading Interventionist position at Brandywine Elementary School. She said she believes the West Virginia education system is so successful because of the local communities that support the schools.
“The pride our communities have for their students, teachers, and personnel is unparalleled. Community members are extremely proud to talk about the accomplishments of our learners and support the school system whenever possible. This is important not only to our students, but to our staff. We know our community values education and supports and appreciates us, making even the most challenging days feel rewarding.”
Serving as the reading interventionist at Brandywine has allowed Mrs. Lambert to work one-on-one with some of her school’s most at-risk students. She said she has been lucky enough to create strong relationships with most of them.
“Early in my career I was presented with a case that required me to report a story I had heard. Without giving away too many details about this case, the result was my student getting the help they desperately needed. As they continued with their elementary career at Brandywine, I had transitioned into my current position as the fourth-grade teacher and was able to teach these students in my classroom. I was amazed at their progress and proud of their resilience. One day I asked my class to respond to an open-ended question about a time they were thankful for someone. My student referred to the person who helped them through the difficult time I was required to report years before and, in that moment, I knew I had made a lasting impact in this young learner’s life. Now as I watch these students finish their careers at our elementary school, it reminds me how lucky I am to have a job that gives me continued purpose.”
Earlier this year, Mrs. Lambert was named the 2021 Pendleton County Teacher of the Year and served as one of 10 state finalists for the West Virginia Teacher of the Year. When she isn’t busy in the classroom, she enjoys spending time with her husband and dog, Cal, who is named after the famous Baltimore Oriole Cal Ripken. She currently lives in Pendleton County, but originally, Mrs. Lambert is from the home of the groundhog: Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. Mrs. Lambert said she does not take her title as, “Ambassador of Phil” lightly and loves celebrating Groundhog Day with her school community. She also enjoys making cakes for her nephews’ birthdays and creating new memories each year at the beach with family.