20 Under 40: Lexi Caudell looks toward students to shape future
As a teacher, Craig Middle School seventh-grades science teacher Lexi Caudell, an honoree in this year’s “20 under 40” section, takes great interest in investing in children and the future. Part of what makes her job so rewarding at CMS is seeing the growth in children on a day-to-day, month-to-month, and year-to-year basis.
Outside of the classroom though, Caudell is the same way, investing in children through gymnastics at Rising Star Youth Training Center, while also working as a robotics coach for the CMS Lego Robotics team.
“[Lexi] is very giving of her time and energy,” said Ran MacDonald, who nominated Caudell for “20 under 40.”
Caudell also spends her time outside of the classroom as an instructor of cardio and weightlifting at Lins Fitt, serving her community in positive ways each and every day. That positivity and investment goes a long way.
In your chosen career field, how has the job evolved since you first began?
I’ve only been a teacher for three years now so I haven’t witnessed a lot of change in the field. I know in the last five years in the middle school we switched so that each child has an iPad. The switch to incorporate technology more into education has probably been the biggest change in the field recently.
How do you feel your line of work is different from someone in a similar job a generation before you?
Technology is the biggest thing. Everything used to be on paper, now everything is online. We have to teach kids how to use the Internet safely, respond to media and do quality research. We are also preparing kids for jobs that didn’t exist when their parents were in school so they need to learn different skills.
What kind of challenges do you feel like you and your coworkers will face in the next decade?
Kids are having to learn things for jobs that don’t exist yet so it’ll be interesting to see how education changes as jobs with newer technologies develop.
What is the most rewarding part of your job on a day to day basis
Seeing the kids make growth. When you get a kid at the beginning of the year that isn’t excited about science or doesn’t read or write very well, and then by the end of the year you see that they’ve made a lot of growth and you’ve really formed a connection with them. That is the best part about what I do.
If you hadn’t gone down your particular career path, what else would you have liked to do with your life?
I would have liked to do some sort of scientific research, possibly in marine biology.
What types of jobs would you avoid at all costs?
Anything that I would have to do the same thing day in and day out. I really like that my job is something new every day with new challenges. I am never bored at work.
How do you feel your work-life balance differs from those of your parents/grandparents?
I think that I probably do more work, and spend less time time at home than my parents and grandparents. Specifically with my grandparents, it was more of an expectation that women stay at home and raise children where now we are more involved with our careers.
How do you feel everyday life is better or worse in 2020 with certain technology shifts?
I feel like it’s better because we have more access to technology, which means that we can get answers to our questions right away, and learn more things. It also allows us to be connected with people around the world that are farther away. In school it’s helpful because teaching science I can let my kids do more independent research projects and take them on virtual field trips. Technology has its drawbacks as well though — social media can be really harmful to our kids if they don’t know how to use it properly and be safe using it. That is something new that we have to consider and watch out for as teachers.
What kind of strengths or weaknesses do you believe your generation brings to your career field?
I think our generation is really dedicated to our work and improving things in the world around us. I think that we can come up with a lot of new ideas and that we are more accepting to change. We can also bridge the gap between the kids that grew up their whole life with technology and people that grew up with no technology.
How do you feel your generation fits into Moffat County’s future?
Moffat County is going through a big period of change so it’s really important that we have young people with fresh new ideas for our community. Our community needs to help welcome that change and allow the newer generation to make our community sustainable and flourish.
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