Meet the teacher: Corey Rislund finds QCUSD through job fair

Francis Brandon Pickett Elementary teacher Corey Rislund. (Submitted photo)

Name: Corey Rislund

School: Francis Brandon Pickett Elementary

Why you chose to work in the district: Funny story, I never thought of working in Queen Creek until I randomly saw something about the job fair during my last semester of student teaching. I decided to go and as soon as I walked in to the district office I felt “welcomed.” Everyone greeted me with a smile and was kind to me (even though I was sweating bullets).

What I like most about what I do: Watching a student go from not knowing any letters to fluently reading is literally like watching magic happen. And I know I am partially responsible for that magic so that is even better! I love getting to see how much my students grow academically AND socially/emotionally. They go from being babies, to “big kids,” in one short year and I have a front row spot to seeing it happen. I don’t think I ever leave work without having smiled at least once, even on the “rough days.”

Where did you come from: I came fresh out of college! I went to Arizona State University and student taught at Navajo elementary for an entire year before graduating and getting my job at Pickett.

If I had picked a different occupation it might have been: A P.E. teacher (I know, still a teacher) but I would never want to do anything that didn’t involve working with kids. I have a passion for watching them learn.

What I’m looking forward to most this school year: I am looking forward to wrapping up my second year in the district and starting my third year. I feel like I have grown so much in one year from both experience and professional development. I and am excited to see the kind of teacher I am five years from now in this district.

My vision for the school: The staff at Pickett is amazing, they all welcomed me last year and helped me get through my first year of teaching. I would like to see more technology available for all grade levels, including kindergarten, in the next few years. I also am happy with the new security upgrades in our front office. I feel that is something that was needed for our staff and students safety.

People who inspired me (and how): My dad inspired me by raising me on his own and showing me what it means to work hard for what you want. He gave me everything and put his needs aside for my own. He also taught me that you can be “stern,” but also “silly,” at the same time, which is basically how I am as a teacher. I expect a lot from my students, but I also like being silly with them and know they need to be silly on a daily basis.

One thing I want students to know about me: I am always here for them. Even after they leave my classroom, I will always make myself available for them if needed.

One thing I want parents to know about me: I have high expectations for my students, but I never put my expectations before their needs. If I see a child’s needs are not being met, I will alter my plans to help them in any way I can. I firmly believe that each and every child brings different and unique strengths into the classroom. I also believe communication is the KEY to success in parent, teacher, and student relationships.

My advice to today’s youth: In a field of horses, always be a unicorn! Meaning: be yourself! The only person you should ever try to impress is yourself. No one was born the same, so take pride in who you are!

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