Teacher uses past career to teach class


Tyler Spadafore, Reporter

Mr. Jeff Christensen currently teaches both History and Criminal Justice classes. Christensen is a former police officer who worked for the Los Banos Police Department from 1994 to 2010. He then switched professions and became a teacher.

Mr. Christensen uses his experience to provide an interesting and engaging hands on way to learn about the law and the way the police and court system works. From crime scene investigations, photographing, traffic stops, vehicle searches, court testimony, to filing small claims cases, students are involved in all parts of the class.  One experience students love and get excited about is looking at fingerprints.  Christensen takes the class to a classroom or his own vehicle to collect fingerprints and create a report for them for a better hands on learning experience.

Mr. Christensen received his bachelors degree in Criminal Justice and teaching credential in Social Science from Stanislaus State University in 2012. He also has experience teaching abroad in Jiangsu, China.

He said he became a police officer because “I wanted to help my community, and it was the best way to perform acts of service for others.”

He was injured and his life career path changed. “After I was injured, I felt that teaching high school would be the best way to influence young people to be as successful as possible.”

Christensen loves different aspects from both jobs.  He said a favorite thing about both jobs is “Every day they offered new challenges to overcome.”

For students considering the police academy, Christensen said, “Some advice would be to be able to write well, have a wide range of experiences and be willing to help others more than yourself.”

Students looking for an interesting and engaging class experience should consider Introduction to Criminal Justice for an elective.  If you have questions about the class, see Mr. Christensen in room 54.