Henrico’s Top Teachers – Margaret Christensen

Margaret Christensen is known by her math students at Moody Middle School as the “light bulb illuminator,” as she brings math to life and is continually watching her kids understand the subject.

Although Christensen came from a long line of educators, teaching wasn’t a career path she had always considered.

During a Christmas break while she attended SUNY Portland, Christensen had a conversation with her aunt that pushed her to become a teacher. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and after college moved for a change of pace to Virginia, where she would later earn a master’s degree from VCU as a mathematical specialist.

“I’m a math nerd and it just happened,” said Christensen. “I taught collaboratively seventh and eighth grades at a private school for five years for kids with behavioral problems, and when I became a teacher in Henrico I was able to focus on specifically math, which I loved because I could hone in on one subject and my true passion.”

Christensen’s students say that she makes them feel comfortable asking questions, and that is something she prides herself on, along with her ability to make math relatable and interesting.

“Mrs. Christensen has helped [me] in school,” wrote one student. “I used to hate math and everything that has to do with it, but since she has taught me, it has become easier to understand and more fun to do. She has impacted me tremendously, but after the first month of her class I learned to love math – she is just so creative and fun.”

Making math fun is one of Christensen’s top priorities in the classroom.

“I would love to develop some type of program or curriculum that would allow kids to fall in love with math,” she said. “I want them to love math, or at least like it more than they did when they entered. They use it all the time and don’t realize it. Math is incorporated in all real world things, so I want them to recognize that.”

Christensen pushes her students to reach their potential and is interactive in her teaching methods.

“Students still have someone that they can count on to help them with anything they need, even if it’s not math related,” wrote one parent. “Mrs. Christensen also created a healthy and safe learning environment for all of her students. Mrs. Christensen impacted all of her students with her presence, and they could not appreciate her more.”

Christensen enjoys teaching at Moody because of the diversity and her ability to teach a wide range of students.

“At the middle school level, the students are becoming mature and you can help shape them into becoming young adults, which is one of my favorite parts,” Christensen said. “At Moody, I like the different dynamics that the school has with the adults and kids. We are very diverse, and I teach a variety of kids.”
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