After a career change, Childs is happy to be at Callaway Elementary

Published 8:30 am Friday, December 2, 2022

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The road to becoming a teacher is a straight shot for some, but for others there can be twists and turns.

Callaway Elementary School’s Teacher of the Year, Crystal Childs, initially pursued criminal justice before becoming a teacher.

“After graduating, I ended up at Twin Cedars working with teen moms,” Childs said. “As I worked with them, I would help with their homework, and that’s when I decided to go back to school to become a teacher.”

Upon learning she had won the title, Childs said she was honored.

“Because I’m from Flint, Michigan, our principal had gotten all my family on a Zoom call and had them there to surprise me,” Childs said. “I felt shocked and honored because here we are family so any of us could have won it. I was thankful they chose me.”

During her 14 years teaching at CES, Childs said the most fulfilling part has been seeing the progress students have made from elementary school to adulthood.

“As elementary teachers, we are laying the foundation to see what you’ve instilled in them once they’re older and see that you had something to do with their child’s growth has been rewarding,” Childs said. “We teach curriculum, but we also teach life skills, and it’s been amazing to see them grow up to be productive citizens.”

When Childs is not in the classroom, she can be found enjoying the water. She likes going fishing, doing water aerobics and spending time with grandchildren Legend and Gianna and her husband, Nico Childs.

If Childs wasn’t a teacher, she said she’d probably be a children’s counselor.

“I love working with people, but with children, I think you can make more of an impact,” Childs said. “I’m really big on building relationships and definitely would have to be in the helping field.”

Childs said teaching at CES taught her the value of building relationships with students and faculty.

“I love Callaway,” Childs said. “This is the only school I’ve worked at as a full-time teacher, and we’re just like a family here. We look out for each other and celebrate births, marriages and graduations. We have each other’s back, and that has been amazing to be a part of.”