News from CAK
After working in the public school for 25 years, Angel Crider felt plenty of ‘nudges’ from God that maybe it was time for a change. She decided to send her oldest child to Christian Academy of Knoxville, a private school with small class sizes, for his 9th-grade year. At that point, the nudges turned into opportunities.
Crider was offered a job to change her career path and teach 5th grade at CAK, the same school where her son attends. “I know the challenges students face in Middle School, and I love that I can prepare them to not only be ready but to have a head start.”
The smaller class sizes and the freedom of teaching in a Christian setting were huge bonuses for Angel. She loves ministering to her students and that she can guide them through scripture and love as they grow and change. “As a teacher, being able to meet my students where they are is huge. Small classes allow me the flexibility to reach out to them in small groups and one on one instruction to clear up any misunderstandings.”
The teachers at CAK love their school, each other, and their Savior.
“I adore this school system. Being in an environment with high expectations and strong standards, students thrive. I believe that is what parents want- teachers who love their child and help them to reach goals.”
While the quarantine was hard on everyone, the family atmosphere at CAK touched Angel. “I became a teacher to be in the classroom with the students, not on a screen. On the very last day of school, the 5th grade students had a parade for the 5th grade teachers. I walked outside to start the parade and I looked up and there were students everywhere. I was speechless, and I could not contain my tears of joy. I love the family atmosphere that CAK Elementary has brought to my teaching.”
At the beginning of the 2019 school year, Monica Beaumont began with an excitement that only a new teacher can feel when returning home. You see, Ms. Beaumont is an alumnus of CAK, and she accepted a position teaching 5th grade Social Studies in the very school where she spent her youth.
“As once a student and now a teacher at CAK, I can tell you that CAK fully prepared me for life after high school academically and spiritually.”
'This school is like one big supportive, loving family'
And she had no idea how much she’d need that family this year. No one could have foreseen COVID-19, a worldwide pandemic, closing schools nation-wide late in the school year. But CAK did not “close,” instead, young Warriors continued learning remotely. And Ms. Beaumont was learning right alongside them.
“Right before we left for Spring Break, unknowing what the future might hold, I shared a special moment with my students: I had just returned from speaking at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville that day, and we had one big group hug before leaving for dismissal. I honestly told them that I do not know what is going to happen or when we might see each other again, we held each other and prayed. We “popcorn” prayed in which each student can pray out loud if they wished. Every single one of them prayed for health (for their family and others) and that we see each other again soon. I held that moment close to my heart during those last few months of the school year.”
Maintaining a connection with her class during distance learning was important.
“Growth academically and spiritually continued even though it seemed like the world was shutting down. The technology, resources, and connections are bountiful in this school. I know I was thankful as a student to have attended here, so much so that I chose to return!”
Monica was thankful for the connections made while a student at CAK. After graduating from UTK with her teaching degrees, returning to teach at CAK was her heart’s desire and 5th grade was the perfect fit. “5th grade is my favorite grade, I love everything about it from the students to the content. At this age, they are independent enough to do a little more complex experiments but also young enough to still like silly books about what we are learning.”
The smaller class sizes and the freedom of teaching at a private school were a distinct advantage to Monica. “I can spend so much one on one time with each student to meet their specific needs. This also helps me to build a great student to teacher relationship that is unmatched in large class sizes. I love that I can share and discuss my faith with my students. I also love that I can be there for them during their walk with Jesus.”