Crystal Robinson transitions from education policy to practice
This fall a two-time alumna of Brigham Young University, Crystal Robinson, is trading her position in a Congressional advisory office for a new position in front of a classroom.
With a bachelor’s degree in economics and a master’s in public administration, Robinson spent three and a half years in Washington, DC with the Government Accountability Office, where she worked with teams advising Congress on government performance and policy.
“During my time at the agency I rotated between different issues. I wrote reports and talked to people in a lot of different areas,” Robinson said. “Towards the end of my two years in rotation, I got to do a short stint—three or four months—on the education team.”
As she delved deeply into education policy, Robinson felt a kinship with this new team. A passion for teaching from her early college years rekindled, with every education conversation reigniting the spark.
“I wanted to talk about education all of the time,” she said. “I knew I could make myself interested in anything that I worked on, but with education [the interest] was already there. It was special to me.”
Following this love for education, Robinson chose to return to BYU to achieve a license in teaching from the McKay School of Education. She will do her student teaching in the Wasatch School District this fall. She believes teaching is important and that teachers make a difference.
Her experiences as a graduate student and a young professional have broadened her perspective on education and given her a new personal maxim: School should be about life. She believes that school isn’t about getting a degree, but about experiences in which learners prepare for life. Her goal is for her students to excel in school and in life.
Robinson wants her students to find their place in the world and then go fill it. “I want to encourage my students in their academics, but also in their friendships. The communication aspect is really important,”
“BYU does a really good job in educating teachers and helping us to realize the importance of [those] connections,” she said. “A lot of people who have been educated here have that same perspective. I want to do that for my students.”
During the course of her career, she has learned about all there is to do in the field of education, both in and out of the classroom.
“You can be a teacher. You can work in administration or policy. You can design instructional materials or teach other teachers. The list goes on, and it’s all important work with a powerful impact.”
Writer: Alexander H. Rose
Contact: Cindy Glad (801) 422-1922