Learning with eighth-grade science teacher Christal Bookhamer at Loflin Middle School is an exciting and interactive experience. Sure she dresses up in military fatigues to promote her Science Bootcamp and sings in cadence as she marches around the lunchroom, but for Bookhamer, it’s not just about fun and games. She is serious about learning and improving her students’ academic performance.
The intense two-week Science Bootcamp she holds prior to state testing reinforces scientific concepts. This solid preparation augments classroom learning to produce high-achieving students. In 2012, her students achieved a 99% passing rate on the STAAR Science test. One step ahead of her students, she continuously looks for new ways to motivate and create teaching materials that help develop a love of science, while being aligned with curriculum and state standards. Additionally, Bookhamer works closely with the students in Loflin’s success lab who didn’t do well on the eighth-grade science exam and were retained to improve their high school readiness. While these are not students from her classroom, she is deeply devoted to helping them improve their STAAR scores and move forward with their education.
Bookhamer’s unique and effective teaching style has been showcased as exemplary during district administrator and staff development sessions. She co-presents a workshop called “What’s Your Target?” that reviews college readiness standards and helps instructors make these standards applicable in their classrooms. Moreover, she has presented teaching best practices to Joshua Independent School District’s elementary and middle school in-service days.
While dedicated to classroom teaching, Bookhamer’s personal dedication to professional development is exemplified by her simultaneous pursuit of principal certification. But whatever her role, one thing is crystal clear: Christal Bookhamer will give her all to make school the best possible experience for students, parents, colleagues and administrators.
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