As part of our ongoing series Meet Our GDS Faculty and Staff, we are excited to present: Meet Christina Lafontant-Bridgeforth!
Read the Q&A below to learn more about Christina.
Primary Role: 2nd grade teacher
Years at GDS: Three years down and more than halfway through year four
What do you love about GDS?
What I love most about GDS is the history of the school and the community. I have learned and grown so much as an educator because I am able to collaborate with my incredible colleagues.
Why do you teach?
Growing up in Haiti, we didn't have much, but our parents stressed the importance of education. I was "hooked" on learning even before I started school! As an educator, I get to guide my students and help them grow as learners. I love to connect with my students and learn from them as well!
A favorite part of your job?
I love to teach math. I take great pride in helping my students make sense of mathematical problems.
Your work style in three words?
Other GDS activities or roles that community members may not know about?
Christina has taught Summer @ GDS’s Creative Challenges in previous summers and will teach Little Hopper summer camp this year.
A top hope or wish for your students?
That they leave my classroom knowing that they can make a difference in the world.
Birth advocacy—When not at GDS, I serve as a birth doula, working with pregnant mothers and their partners in several capacities. I educate them about their birth options, clarify confusion around informed consent, help draft birth plans, and teach them vocabulary related to childbirth that allows them to be in the driver's seat of their child’s delivery. I also support the birthing person and their partner, before, during, and after labor, in addition to providing in-person lactation support for both parents and their baby.
Foodie—I love all foods and I will try everything at least once before I decide that I don't like it. I'm obsessed with savory and saucy foods!
Traveling—My favorite trip so far has been a three-week road trip from Alabama to Vancouver, British Columbia. My husband, Carlton, and I drove our Toyota Corolla at our leisure and experienced some of the best sites around this country. The natural hot springs in Montana remain one of our favorite things so far.
A favorite something?
My favorite movie of all time is the 1959 version of Imitation of Life starring Lana Turner. It's so complicated!
Something you made, created, or accomplished that you can proudly share?
My children 🙂
One thing about yourself your students/colleagues/others probably don't know?
I am passionate about birth advocacy. Outside of GDS, I work as a birth doula.
One thing on your life "bucket list" you've already accomplished?
Making it to Machu Picchu (pictured)
One thing on your life “bucket list” you have yet to accomplish?
Becoming a proficient swimmer…yikes.
With a tip from Christina, we reached out to hear what a colleague had to say...Middle School history teacher Toussaint Lacoste said, “Christina has been an awesome colleague to work with and an important thought partner. I marvel at her ability to educate, manage her class, and develop meaningful relationships with her students and their families. [As a parent, I observe that] she is open to and welcomes feedback about my child's needs. She creates opportunities for staff to share their identity and talents with her class. I am further impressed by her ability to balance her roles as a classroom instructor, grade-level chair, wife, and mother. The joy on the faces of the Brave Dragons [the name this year’s class chose for themselves] when they enter and exit the classroom is all that needs to be seen to understand the tremendous impact she is having on their development as young citizens in the world.”