Local Schools

Each Day is Full of Special Moments for Christen Landrum

The Gardendale News featured Christen Landrum and her Gardendale High School Girls Golf team earlier this week as they won the Jefferson County Tournament. As impressive as her work has been with the golf team, what we celebrate today is Christen’s work and dedication to managing over 20 students with disabilities each day in her role as the Exceptional Education teacher at GHS.

“I know I make a difference. I just have to keep reminding myself of that.”

Christen, we thank you for the difference you make in the lives of your students every day!

Treye Hanner: Tell us a little about you and how you decided to become a teacher?

Christen Landrum: I am an Exceptional Education teacher at Gardendale High School. I am on my fifth year of teaching. I am the girls’ golf coach and ambassador sponsor. I originally started as an English teacher in 2017 at GHS, then received my Master’s in Exceptional Education in 2018. I transferred to that role in January of 2019.

I have always known that I was going to be a teacher. I used to “play teacher” all of the time when I was little, and always made it my goal to become one. I have been married to my husband, Gage, since 2019. He is a teacher at Bragg Middle School. We live in Morris with our fur baby, Ally. We are proud members of Gardendale First Baptist Church. We love to travel whenever we get the chance.

Treye Hanner: What is your favorite part of being a teacher?

Christen Landrum: There are so many things that I love about being a teacher but, of course, my number one is my students. I am fortunate to stay with them throughout their high school career, so I get to form meaningful relationships with them. Another favorite part about being a teacher is not knowing what to expect each day. My job is different than the typical teacher. I manage over 20 students with disabilities throughout the entire school environment. Each day is different; I never know what to expect when I clock-in. The unknown keeps me on my toes and looking forward to each day.

Treye Hanner: Are there special moments where you say to yourself “this is why I teach?”

Christen Landrum: Absolutely! When the kids come up to me and tell me how much they appreciate my help, I always say in my head “this is why I teach.” There are some tough days in my job, but reassurance from parents and kids every now and then make it 100% better. I know I make a difference. I just have to keep reminding myself of that.

Treye Hanner: What challenges have you experienced while having to teach through the pandemic?

Christen Landrum: My job is definitely easier now that school is completely in-person, but it was extremely difficult when we were out and/or hybrid. I would have a handful of students at school, and a handful at home. It was hard to manage students who were at home. Overall, I think all teachers had many challenges. I really hope all of that is behind us.

Treye Hanner: What’s the one thing you would like people to know about teachers?

Christen Landrum: One thing I would like people to know about teachers is that the majority of them truly love their job and care about the kids. We get a lot of slack sometimes, but we always try and do what is best for the kids.