PBS Digital Innovator 2017

Matt Christensen

Matt Christensen South Dakota
  • SDPB
  • Brandon Valley High School
  • Brandon, South Dakota

Matt keeps an unusual reminder on his desk: a picture of himself as a high school senior. This, he believes, will help him remain in his student’s shoes, and on their side, at all times.  In his student-centric classroom, Matt says he has worked hard to create learning conditions that foster his students’ growth, empowering them to produce movies, craft art, and construct and share their ingenious insights. “Instead of sad paper quizzes that include a single ‘right’ answer, I offer opportunities to answer successfully in many ways,” Matt says. “I prepare my students by celebrating and rewarding their interests and talents. And the results are astonishing."

Fun Fact: Matt’s students adore him.  In a recent interview, one of his students said that, “there are so many things I want to learn from him that I don’t think 50 minutes a day is enough.”

Follow Matt on Twitter, @mchristensenbv.