Teacher Spotlight — September 2020

Meet Mr. Christopher Richardson | Fourth-Grade Lead Teacher | KIPP DC Honor Academy


Mr. Christopher Richardson is a fourth-grade lead teacher at KIPP DC Honor Academy and September’s Teacher Spotlight! After graduating from Towson University with a degree in Mass Communication, Mr. Richardson joined KIPP DC in 2019 as a Resident in the Capital Teaching Residency. A native Washingtonian who was born minutes away from the school he now teaches at, he describes the transition from working in public relations for a non-profit organization to teaching as the fulfillment of a lifelong purpose of helping students.

“Teaching was the next step for me that checked off every box in terms of what I care about and what I am passionate about. Education is something I’ve always been heavily invested in, and teaching allows me to be in front of kids, help them, and I can lean on my Mass Communication degree when it comes to relationship building.”

After researching many teacher preparation programs, Mr. Richardson decided that the Capital Teaching Residency’s combination of the hands-on teaching experience, coaching, and the opportunity to earn a master’s degree was the right pathway to develop as an educator. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, Mr. Richardson did not have the typical Resident year but says he still felt prepared to take over a classroom of his own when the time came.

“I was paired up with an amazing mentor teacher that really helped build me up and prepared me when the time came to take over my own classroom. Shortly before the pandemic hit, I had the opportunity to briefly take over a classroom, and the trust that was put into me with that opportunity validated that this truly is the work I’m supposed to be doing.”

Chris Richardson - September Teacher Spotlight

Beyond the many lessons taking place in his virtual classroom, most important to Mr. Richardson is the ability to connect meaningfully and personally with his students. “I take the time to get to know my students as people. I open myself up and let them know I’m here for them. I want to know how they feel and want them to know they can come to me with anything. It’s important that they know Math or Literacy but what’s most important is they feel valued as people.”

Looking back on his journey from Towson University to impacting students as a lead teacher at KIPP DC Honor Academy, Mr. Richardson says that the opportunity to impact student lives through education continues to make each day memorable and meaningful.

“I know this is the work I’m supposed to be doing, and I ground it in the fact that I am helping change lives through education. It feels great to provide students with the education they deserve in the community I grew up in. I recently had a parent text me about how excited her daughter was to talk about a book we recently read. It’s the little moments like that that make this work gratifying.”

Learn more about the Capital Teaching Residency or apply to be a lead teacher today!

Posted on September 29, 2020 in Awards & Recognition