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Christal Watts
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I took a rather circuitous route to being a teacher, but I think I can say unequivocally that I was called to teach at a very young age. I was the one who taught my younger sister the alphabet, helped her learn how to count to ten, and was one of those kids who enjoyed playing school. However, I didn't actually want to be a teacher until many years later and joined the profession at the age of 35.

The path to getting earning my BA from CSU-Sacramento (Go Hornets!) was also non-traditional. When I returned to school, I was the mother of a 18 month old and a 5 year old. I went to Napa Vallejo JC where I earned two associate degrees before transferring to CSU-Sacramento. When I started CSU-Sacramento, my youngest was four months old and I was nursing.

For the past decade, I have been a teacher in Vallejo. When I first started teaching, I was an intern and earned my teaching credential through Dominican University. A couple of years ago, I earned my Masters in Education from Touro University. For eight of my ten years, I have taught 6th grade in middle school. In the Spring of 2008, I was elected president of the Vallejo Education Association and I am currently in my second year as president.

Visit me at Five Feet of Feisty!

Blog Entries by Christal Watts

Why I Proudly Belong to a Union

Posted March 24, 2011 | 13:09:17 (EST)

When I first decided to become a teacher, I didn't think about being part of a union. It wasn't the reason that I became a teacher. I became a teacher because I wanted to help the community by providing an excellent education to the kids that I would be serving....

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Teaching in a Hard-to-Staff District

Posted March 15, 2011 | 01:28:55 (EST)

A hard-to-staff district is what they used to call the district that I work in. This, of course, was before the abundance of teachers that can now be found in California and in states across the nation. But even in this time of abundance, we still have a difficult time...

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Being a Respected (and Effective) Principal From a Teacher's Perspective

Posted January 18, 2011 | 14:36:09 (EST)

Ask any teacher about the principals they have respected over the years. Many would probably tell you that a respected and effective principal is one who looks at the reality of their school site and doesn't automatically blame the staff for the many ills that may plague that school. Instead...

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Reading IS Fundamental

Posted December 29, 2010 | 12:08:55 (EST)

One of my most cherished memories was when I realized I could read. I remember sitting on the couch in our living room with a book in my lap. I remember sounding out the word, "know" as "ka-now." My mom was listening to me read out loud and asked me...

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Positively Impacting the Life of a Student

Posted November 30, 2010 | 13:27:47 (EST)

Recently, I received the following note from a former student, "[y]ou were a great teacher. I thought you were hard. And I didn't really like you. But over time I realized you were challenging us. And I respected you."

This is significant to me for a couple of reasons....

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The Principal's Dilemma

Posted November 8, 2010 | 19:24:59 (EST)

When I began teaching, there were a couple of things that struck me as being unique to education. The first was the expectation that supplies that those in the corporate world take for granted would need to be provided by me. The second is that my immediate supervisor, my boss,...

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My Family's Own 'Race to Nowhere'

Posted October 27, 2010 | 02:16:05 (EST)

Moments ago, I finished watching Race to Nowhere, a movie that was recently shown in Vallejo, the district where I teach. The movie struck a chord as I noted the many similarities shown in the movie and the struggles my three children faced in their educational journeys.

My...

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Not Waiting for Superman

Posted October 13, 2010 | 14:05:43 (EST)

Have you heard about the new film that was made by the same guy that made An Inconvenient Truth? This film was recently discussed on Oprah Winfrey. I haven't had the opportunity to watch Oprah or the movie, but I have got to tell you, the whole Superman metaphor really...

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