Degrees and Certifications:
My name is Christa Klaerner and I was born and raised right here in Fredericksburg. My husband, Kyle and I married in 2006 and we have two precious children, Kolt (9) and Karsyn (6). They are our life and keep us busy with their year round activities. I certainly wouldn't be where I am today if it wasn’t for their love and support.
I graduated from UTSA with a Bachelor of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies with an emphasis in Special Education. Following graduation, I worked as a resource/inclusion teacher in Boerne for 10 years before returning home to Fredericksburg Elementary School. The completion of this school year will be my 14th year in teaching.
Since teaching here at FES, I work with high functioning autistic children, second grade through fifth grade in the Connections Classroom. My students vary with time spent in my classroom, some spend majority of their day with me and others come in for support as needed. I have always had a special place in my heart for special needs children and my heart is full when I work with my autistic students. Most of my students struggle with social-interactions with their peers which can be very frustrating for them. It is my job to teach them the skills they will need to be successful in all settings of their life.
As a special education teacher, it is my philosophy that all kids can learn and it is my job to provide them a safe environment to do so. Students are greeted by me each day with a welcoming smile and a hug or handshake, so they know I care about each of them. I want my classroom to be a safe haven for my students when they are feeling anxious or upset. It is set up to meet all their needs whether they need a cool down area because they are extremely upset or they need a sensory break because they are feeling overwhelmed.
I believe you have to be patient and flexible in your teaching styles and find what works for each student. What works for one will not work for all and you have to be willing to try and implement new strategies as needs emerge. Every day, students present new challenges which provide me the opportunity to continue to learn as a teacher. My goal for each student is to become independent and integrated with their peers both academically and socially.
High expectations are set by me for my students and because of that the expectations for myself are raised so I am always meeting their changing needs. It is my belief you meet each student at their level and them take their strengths and build from there. I want each of my students to feel valued in my classroom, so I have them use their strengths to help and teach others in a variety of ways. They learn to communicate their needs and frustrations through the use of social stories and role playing with fun games and lessons. Watching my students make progress, socially and academically, is truly rewarding for me.
I am a true believer that it takes more than just me to make a difference in my students lives. It takes parents, paraprofessional, general education teachers, therapists, school psychologists, counselors, and administrators. Through strong, positive relationships built by communication and common understanding, students’ lives are changed for the better.
As we say every day when we leave, “Everyday may not be good, but there is something good in every day.” I truly treasure every day with my students and look forward to watching them grow into their future.