Teacher Spotlight: Lauren Chriscoe
By Evie Fordham
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 during 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.”