The most important piece of advice Kristi Rivera feels she could give to her students is, “Always be kind to one another, no matter what. Kids will look back and will not always remember what you said to them, but they will always remember how you made them feel.”
Rivera, our August Blue KC Sporting Samaritan, teaches third grade at Delaware Ridge Elementary School in Kansas City, Kansas. She considers her fellow teachers and students to be family. “The most important thing to me as a teacher is for my kids to know that they’re loved, I care about them and I believe in them,” Rivera said. “For the past 9 years of teaching, I’ve greeted each student at the door with a handshake, high five or hug and I do the same thing when I send them out the door to go home at night.”
She knew she wanted to be a teacher from a young age. She strives to have a positive impact on not only the students within her school, but on other teachers as well.
Others have certainly taken note of Rivera’s passion and commitment to her role as an educator. She’s received several recognitions for her work at DRE, as well as the USD #204 Teacher of Excellence Award in 2015. While Rivera is both grateful for and humbled by these accolades, she takes the most pride in seeing her students grow.
“I would say my most proud moments are when I bump into former students or their families in the community and they tell me how I made a difference in their life and set them up for success in life as well as in their academics,” said Rivera. “I love seeing pictures and hearing success stories about how they positively contribute to our community.”
Character building and standards are skills and concepts that Rivera weave into all of her lessons.
“I think it is so important to instill standards of excellence in students because they are life skills and will set them up for success in the future,” she said.
Rivera and DRE also flip the script when it comes to parent teacher conferences—instead, they conduct student-led conferences.
“Students will talk about their successes, their struggles, what they’re most proud of, share goal setting, draft work,” Rivera said. “I absolutely love witnessing students taking charge of their learning and sharing it with their family. You can feel the sense of pride in the child as well as in the parents.
It’s clear to see that thanks to Rivera’s guidance, her students are on a path to achieve amazing things. Find out more about Kristi and her story.
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