Kristen Friedland - 2nd Grade Teacher

Favorite vacation destination/hobby:

I love visiting southern California!  It's so pretty there, and the weather is so nice.  I love Hollywood, Disneyland, Santa Monica, San Diego--I think southern California is my favorite place to go.  I love beaches too.  I also visit my parents often in southern New Jersey, where I grew up. It's always fun to go there too, especially in the summer.  They are near Ocean City, New Jersey, and I love to go to the beach there.  

 "What is the thing you like most about your work?"

I love getting to know my students and learning all about them.  It's so fun to watch them mature over a school year and to see how much they learn.  I also enjoy getting to go on field trips with them and seeing them learn from these experiences.  In second grade, we had the pleasure of taking the students to Strathmore.  For many of the students, it was their first time seeing a live orchestra perform, and they were so excited.  They dressed up for the trip and really enjoyed it.  We will also be taking field trips to a planetarium and to the zoo.  It is great watching them enjoy these experiences and learn at the same time.  

"How have schools changed in the last decade?"

I would say the biggest change has been in technology.  Technology is such a big part of learning now, and the students are so capable.  They are so skilled at typing their papers now on the Google Chromebooks.  They practice math and reading skills on them as well.  I have found though that as teachers, we want to find a balance and make sure that our students are not relying on technology too much.  We still want to make sure that they still have time for more traditional activities like reading and hands-on activities. 

"How has working with children enhanced your skills in other areas of life?"

I think I have become more patient in other areas of my life.  Teaching has also made me more accepting of people who are different than myself, whether it be in terms of beliefs, religion, race, culture, etc.  I see how having friendships with people who are different than me can be so beneficial.  I can learn so much from other people.  I have also seen kids who might be going through challenges come to school with a smile and a positive attitude.  They remind me to stay positive no matter what I am going through. 

 "What is the funniest thing a student has said to you?"

Kids say the funniest things to me all of the time!  One boy told me the other day that he is going to stay single when he's older because he doesn't want a girl always telling him what to do. 

"What was the hardest school skill to learn?" 

It's hard to stay on top of all of the latest technology.  There are so many great programs for students, but it's difficult to find time to explore them all and find which ones are best for our students. 

"What is the biggest misconception about schools/school staff?"

I think the biggest misconception is that teacher hours are the same as the student hours.  The staff of Ritchie Park is a dedicated one, and there are so many staff members who come early, stay late, or both.  We also bring a lot of work home with us that we do on evenings and weekends. 

"Why do you love Ritchie Park?"

I love the Ritchie Park community!  I am blessed to work on a staff in which every member is devoted to his or her job.  It's also a friendly staff.  I feel like if there was something that I needed, I could go to anyone on the staff, and he or she would help me.  It's a very kind and caring staff.  I also love the students and their amazing families.  The kids always come to school ready and excited to learn.  We have wonderful parents who are dedicated to their children.  Many parents, and even grandparents, volunteer at Ritchie Park, and I am so grateful for all of these volunteers. 

Favorite Movie:

I love so many movies, but my favorites over the years have been "When Harry Met Sally," "Titanic," and "Silver Linings Playbook."  I also love the recent movie, "Wonder."  I loved how the movie showed the importance of caring for and accepting others, even when they are different from us.

 Favorite Musician:

I am a huge Broadway fan!  Last year, I was able to see my favorite Broadway actress, Phillipa Soo, in "Amelie" on Broadway.  I have another trip to NYC planned for the spring and will see the new Broadway musical, "Frozen." I can't wait!

 Favorite Quote:

  "Follow your bliss.  If you do follow your bliss, you put yourself on a kind of track that has been there all the while waiting for you, and the life you ought to be living is the one your are living.  When you can see that, you begin to meet people who are in the field of your bliss, and they open the doors to you.  I say, follow your bliss and don't be afraid, and doors will open where you didn't know they were going to be.  If you follow your bliss,  doors will open for you that wouldn't have opened for anyone else." --Joseph Campbell