Meet your teacher, Christopher Otsu

COM-Meet Your Teacher Otsu

Grade/subject at what school: Fourth grade, Carey Ridge Elementary

Number of years teaching: 13

Background/schooling (college & high school): Warren Central High School; bachelor’s degree in elementary education, Indiana University, Bloomington; and master’s degree in teacher leadership, IU, Bloomington

Why did you become a teacher? Teaching runs in my family. Both of my parents, my grandmother and two of my uncles in Japan are all teachers of various types. Ever since I was young I wanted to be a teacher. As I grew older and had a lot of great teachers along the way, I realized the impact that they had on their students. Once I realized that I could have a similar impact on so many kids, there was never any doubt in my mind what I wanted to do with my life.

What goals do you have for your students? One of the main goals for my students is for them to become more independent thinkers. I want them to ask why, and not just accept answers at face value. This will hopefully lead to them to taking pride in their own education, and create an intrinsic desire to learn.

What do you encourage parents to do at home to help their children strengthen particular skills? Of course I encourage parents to read with their children and be active participants in their education, but I also want parents to push their children to become more responsible for their own actions. I want the kids to learn how to be responsible and not depend on their parents for everything. The earlier they learn this skill, the better.

What is your favorite movie? It is hard to pick one, so I am listing multiple movies. The original “Star Wars” trilogy, the “Star Trek” series and the Indiana Jones movies are all great movies.

Who is your favorite musician or band? I love all kinds of music, from classical to Barry Manilow and all the way up to Taylor Swift. (This is especially true now that I have a five-year-old daughter who forces me to listen to many genres of music.)

What’s something your students might not know about you? I originally was a music education major in college, and wanted to be a high school band or orchestra director. An unfortunate accident altered my plans, and I am glad it did because being an elementary teacher is such a unique and rewarding job.