Irene Jones Elementary Spanish
Lauren Chriscoe High School Spanish
Foreign Language Department Chair

    Lauren Chriscoe  |  High School Spanish
    Foreign Language Department Chair

Foreign Language Department Chair Lauren Chriscoe teaches Wake Christian Academy’s upper level Spanish courses. She found her calling after teaching English to schoolchildren in Costa Rica during her junior year at Wheaton College.

“For them, English was not just another subject, it was a way to perhaps leave a cycle of poverty,” she said, “Their motivation and desire to learn made an impact on me and led me to pursue my teaching license when I returned to the States.”

Mrs. Chriscoe earned her bachelor’s in Spanish from Wheaton, and she has taught everything from Spanish I to Advanced Placement Spanish at Wake Christian where she is known to her students as “Profe,” which is a colloquial term for teacher in Spanish.

“I enjoy challenging my students, especially in the upper levels, to work hard and do their very best on every assignment,” she said, “We give our best effort every day not to please others, but to serve the Lord with our unique gifts and talents. As Colossians 3:23 says, ‘Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men.’”

To help her students immerse themselves in the language, Mrs. Chriscoe uses songs, review games, and listening comprehension activities.

“I like to teach songs whenever possible as students tend to remember best when grammar rules are put to music,” she said. A chant called “Fui, di, vi” is a student favorite and helps them remember how to conjugate past tense verbs.

Her classes also include partner work so that students can practice speaking with each other.

“I often mix up the partner groups in class,” Mrs. Chriscoe said, “My desire is for my classes to learn that we all bear the image of Christ and are called to love our neighbor like Christ loved us.”

Mrs. Chriscoe married husband Ryan in May 2015. When she is not teaching, she loves running and competes in half-marathons. Along with Spanish I teacher Malcolm Deans, Mrs. Chriscoe plans Wake Christian’s annual mission trip. She is excited to see her students grow in their spiritual maturity as well as Spanish-speaking abilities in this year’s trip to the Dominican Republic.

“Hearing about students who use their Spanish outside of class and seeing them progress throughout the year” is the most rewarding aspect of teaching for Mrs. Chriscoe.

“It’s exciting for me to see students pursue Spanish all four years [of high school],” she added, “The majority of those who take AP continue with Spanish in college and may decide to study abroad or use their Spanish skills as a missionary.”

Malcolm Deans High School Spanish
High School Bible
Assistant Athletic Director

    Malcolm Deans  |  High School Spanish
    High School Bible
    Assistant Athletic Director

Spanish I teacher Malcolm Deans knows teaching is what he is meant to do.

“What greater calling than to help mold the lives of individuals to serve God,” he said, “It’s a career that I do for life because God has called me to teach.”

Mr. Deans, or as his students call him, Señor Deans, has always been fascinated by the Spanish language. He grew up on a farm where he frequently interacted with Spanish speakers, giving him “a desire to learn the language and culture more.”

He attended Bob Jones University, where he double majored in Spanish and Bible. He finds his position teaching Spanish I as well as high school Bible at Wake Christian Academy rewarding in many ways.

“It’s the opportunity to leave a mark in the hearts of my students that is its own reward,” he said.

He also loves how “dynamic” teaching can be.

“Every day is different in the classroom and not many careers provide an individual with so much room to be creative and autonomous each day,” Mr. Deans said.

Mr. Deans’ students especially love the fun but educational projects he assigns. Two of their favorites are writing and illustrating a children’s book in Spanish and researching a Spanish-speaking country. He surmised that the country project is so well liked because students prepare and share food from the country they choose to learn about.

Mr. Deans has been married to his wife, Pamela, for twenty-three years, and they have one daughter, Lydia. He is very involved at Wake Christian. Mr. Deans coaches volleyball here and participates in the yearly school-sponsored mission trips to Latin America. He has traveled to many Spanish-speaking countries and said his favorite area is the Amazon River area of Peru.

He emphasizes two things to his students: the importance of hard work and the value of mistakes.

“Some students are more naturally gifted than others, but even the most gifted student will not achieve much if they are lazy,” he said, “It is nearly impossible to be successful at anything if you are not willing to work hard.”

Mr. Deans also wants his students to see the good that can come through making a mistake.

“The greatest lessons in life result because of failures,” he stated, “It is the lessons learned from those mistakes that help make us who we become.”

 

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