Ryan Christoffer is the literacy coach at Dr. Walter Cunningham School of Excellence in Waterloo but he wears lots of hats. He helps out in other classrooms and also teaches a math class.
He was just recognized by the Waterloo School District for his innovative work, largely for infusing technology into the classroom. He was one of the first teachers in the district to receive the Global Thinking Award.
Last year, he taught at Kingsley Elementary and volunteered to be part of a Google Chromebook pilot program. Students had their own Google Chromebook and used it regularly in class. Christoffer believes integrating technology into the classroom is important for keeping students engaged.
"I had students who went from writing half a paragraph to typing three to four pages just because of the excitement level and opportunities that were there," said Ryan Christoffer.
This school year, Christoffer brought the Google Chromebooks to Cunningham and is helping another teacher use them with her students.
"Every time we walk by that particular classroom we see students that are eager to engage in their learning, utilizing those technological resources. Learning comes to life," said Cunningham Principal Craig Saddler.
Colleagues said Christoffer is a natural with students, but teaching wasn't his first career path. He worked at Omega Cabinets for 13 years before switching gears. He said helping students succeed is why he wanted to become a teacher.
"I just want them to know they can be successful, and hopefully we can instill that in them," said Christoffer.
Ryan Christoffer plans to continue to develop new ways to keep his students engaged in the learning process.
Each month the Waterloo School District plans to honor different staff members with the Global Thinking Award.