INTO USF: 10 Questions, 1 Teacher
As part of our 10 Questions, 1 Teacher series, INTO spoke to Krista Bittenbender Royal who works at INTO University of South Florida on the English Language Program, teaching English to International Students. She is also the Special Programs Coordinator.
1. What’s your teaching style?
My classes are designed to be supportive, dynamic, interactive learning communities. However, I also try to create a kind environment in which students can be themselves and feel safe. Students are asked to treat their classmates with respect.
2. What do you like most about your job?
As the Special Programs Coordinator, I get the best of both worlds. I teach several classes a year but also get to develop curriculums and support teachers in their classes. I like working in a dynamic environment that’s so diverse, and interacting with other motivated people.
3. What would you be if you weren’t a teacher at INTO?
If I had to work outside the field, I think being a health or nutrition teacher would be interesting – I am even taking a Nutrition class at USF this semester to learn more about healthy eating. I really like cooking, especially discovering and developing new recipes. I also enjoy spending time in nature – my partner and I like to go hiking, biking, and kayaking.
4. What was your favorite subject when you were at school?
I don’t know that I had a favorite subject – I liked a lot of subjects! I guess you could say German, since I took it all through high school and then majored in it in college.
5. What’s the best thing about Tampa?
There is always something to do! You can visit museums, theme parks, go to great restaurants and shops or go out in nature. Florida is a beautiful state and of course the weather is great!
6. What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
Like many teachers, I very much enjoy reading. My partner and I are also avid birders and Florida has amazing wildlife! It is common to find me on a nature trail in one of the area’s parks on the weekends with my binoculars in hand.
7. Which book are you currently reading?
Lately, I’ve been reading mostly memoirs, but any good story can grab me. I’ve also been reading some books on Buddhism and happiness – right now I am reading The Interdependence Project and The Nine Rooms of Happiness.
8. Have you ever studied abroad?
Yes! Twice. Once in high school and once in college – both times in Germany. It was great!
9. Can you describe an average day’s teaching in three words?
Interactive. Interesting. Fun.
10. What one piece of advice would you give to international students?
Be prepared for a different learning environment than you may be used to, and be prepared to dedicate yourself to your studies. However, the study abroad experience is not only about the classes, and your experience is only what you make it. Learning doesn’t only happen in the classroom, so it is important to take advantage of the extra-curricular activities that are available.
Find out more about studying at INTO University of South Florida.