“Just dance. Gonna be okay. Da-doo-doo-doo. Just dance.” This is how I start my school day with my students. No matter what chaos the morning brings, a little music can smooth the way. By the end of the song, students are unpacked and moving their bodies in preparation for another adventurous day at school.
My name is Kriscia Cabral, and I teach a combination fourth and fifth grade class at Highland Ranch Elementary in the Poway Unified School District. I am fortunate enough to have called this amazing school, nestled in a suburb of San Diego, home for the past eight years. Highland Ranch has a student body of almost 800 children speaking a range of 17 languages in addition to English. From this highly diverse population, we have formed a caring, tight-knit community.
Growing up, I wanted to become a grocery store checker (?), a second grade teacher (I had an amazing one), and a principal (I thought it would be neat to have my own school). As of now, I am two for three. I used to work at a grocery store (where I met my wonderful husband), and taught second grade in my first year as a teacher. I did receive my master's in education in administration to be a principal, which I plan to pursue sometime in the near future. For now, I will continue to teach, research innovative ways to approach learning, and spend time with my babies, Logan, 4, and Kensie, 15 months.
I came from an education system where it was necessary to memorize rules, but not so necessary to apply them. I realized I could offer my students a different learning experience. I want school to be a fun place for them to experience all the different types of learning. And I want learning to be meaningful. As a teacher I continue to ask myself: What is the purpose? How can I make it enjoyable? At the end of the day, I want to inspire my students to passionately pursue something they find purpose in. And I want them to realize how important they truly are. They are here to shape our future and I believe it is my job to help.