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Teacher of the Week: Christopher Norris of Fort Caroline Middle School

That struggle in the classroom at a young age drove him to teach his own students.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Every Thursday, First Coast News highlights a teacher who is going over and beyond in the classroom. This week’s Teacher of the Week has a special story.

He became a teacher because of his time as a student. 

Christopher Norris of Fort Caroline Middle School is this week’s star in the classroom.

Norris sat relaxed in this chair at the front of his class when the cameras rolled.

His students say he’s an unconventional teacher. Norris told First Coast News' Destiny McKeiver that the way he got into teaching was unconventional.

“Honestly, I was a terrible student when I was young,” said Norris.

That struggle in the classroom at a young age drove him to teach his own students. 

Mr. Norris wanted to reach kids who reminded him of himself.

“When I got older, I needed a good steady job,” said Norris.

“I had a wife and kids and I was doing the retail thing so I ended up thinking about what I wanted to do and I was like I can probably help some kids like me,” he said.

There are a lot of bright students in Mr. Norris’ class at Fort Caroline, but they credit him for their success.

“In his class, we’re allowed to be ourselves and stuff and we’re able to talk about serious topics and stuff like that without anybody feeling any type of way or anything like that,” said student Jacari Polite.

While Mr. Norris is highly deserving of recognition for his duties in the classroom, he believes there are many more of his colleagues to praised.

“There are so many teachers at Fort Caroline Middle School that are so impressive that it’s nice to be acknowledged and it’s like when people are nominated and they are the worst actor of them all and they win and everybody is looking at them like how you win that, that’s me right there,” said Mr. Norris.

If you need advice on how to become a great educator, Mr. Norris says it’s authenticity with the students.

“My advice is reach out to kids and develop those relationships, honestly… that’s where it starts,” he said.

If you would like to nominate a teacher for the ‘Teacher of the Week’ segment, CLICK HERE and then click 'Nominate a Teacher'. 

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