Christa Lafountain – Success Through Literacy and Integration

Year: 2021 — Province: British Columbia
Certificate of Achievement Recipient

Bulkley Valley Christian School
Smithers, British Columbia


“Christa is a more than a kindergarten teacher. She embodies transformative education, embraces the whole being, emphasizes that learning happens in the community, and is focussed on having students embrace creativity and wonder.”


Teaching Approach

For Christa, all education flows from relationship. This informs all aspects of her practice. Music and teaching are similar in that they can’t be reduced to formula, technique, or method. While these things are important, teaching is organic and flows from the soul of the educator. Author Parker Palmer wrote that “good teaching cannot be reduced to technique; good teaching comes from the identity and integrity of the teacher.” (The Courage to Teach). Christa’s teaching methods begins with this notion.

Her approach is strongly experiential. Christa’s students are regularly outside of the classroom. From an introductory tour of the school, to a fall walk, to a safari hunt for stuffed animals all over the school, to a pyjama-wearing day, pancake-making breakfast in the school kitchen, to the teddy-pair picnic in the library, to apple pie making, to raising chicks, to her end-of-the-year train trip – Christa finds the opportunities throughout the year to make learning meaningful and rooted in real-life experiences.

In the Classroom

Christa’s emphasis on relationship required her to use technology to continue to connect with her students and families during the pandemic. Technology is not a central element in her Kindergarten program, but she uses it effectively – keeping into perspective that this is a tool and not an end. She employs digital tools to successfully support her students, not only with academic concepts but also to ensure well-being and reduce the effects of isolation. Christa makes extensive use of the Smartboard to introduce the interactive nature of technology to students. She relies on it to teach introductory computer skills to students – the google maps, google images, username and password entry, etc.

Her pedagogical philosophy is firmly rooted in a play-based, interactive, and experiential curriculum. Regular activities include painting, role play, dress up, playing centers, playdough, Lego, wooden building blocks, dolls, cars, trucks, games, stuffed animals, etc. Christa’s classroom is a busy place, not only in terms of the activity level but also in the physical layout of the room – there is a lot to see and do. Activities are multi-sensory – students are invited to explore through all five senses.

Outstanding achievements

Christa’s strong belief in the power of relationships translates into her being an advocate for helping students reaching out to the “other” and understand their situation in the context of cultural challenges. She has been deeply involved reconciliation with our Indigenous leaders. She has also been instrumental in organizing a yearly school-wide Orange Shirt Day. In order to bring her kindergarten kids to start learning about and understand other cultures, Christa integrates curriculum elements that create awareness of other cultures and brings young people to appreciate that each culture is unique and needs to be respected.

Get in touch!

Bulkley Valley Christian School
Box 3635
Smithers, BC  V0J 2N0
Facebook: @BuckleyValleyChristianSchool