Local Teacher Spotlight: Chrissy Rossow

January 10, 2022

by katie jones backer

“Kids (and some adults) often ask why we need to learn math. Why do we need more than just the basics? I always tell them math is not about remembering a formula or a theorem. The formulas and theorems we talk about in class are not the main point, the main point of math is teaching you how to think and reason your way through a problem. So, while you may never use the Pythagorean theorem in your everyday life, after you leave high school, you will have to think through problems and figure out how to solve them daily.” -Chrissy Rossow

Whether students love Math or not, there is no doubt that they adore the time they spend in Chrissy Rossow’s classroom. Her enthusiasm and infectious sense of humor enlivens the halls of the Billings Career Center. With 21 years in Billings School District #2, Chrissy began at Castle Rock Middle School and then Senior High, before moving to the Career Center for the last decade. “Math was always my favorite,” Chrissy began. “I grew up in Wolf Point, MT and had the fortunate opportunity to have some amazing math teachers who made class so much fun, so I just loved the subject. When I went to college, I decided I wanted to be a fun math teacher as well.”

Chrissy Rossow

And fun she is! Whether teaching Honors Geometry, Algebra 2, Dual Credit Algebra or Dual Credit Statistics, Chrissy weaves in positivity and an upbeat attitude while instructing. Her class motto is: Be Kind. “If we can all be kind to each other, everything else will fall into place. So, I strive to make my classroom environment one of the most kind and accepting environments that the kids will encounter each day.” Chrissy believes, “If the kids are comfortable and feel supported and accepted, the math comes easy.”

For those that are up for a challenge in math class, Chrissy also has taught Dual Credit Math for the past nine years… the class allows them to earn college and high school credits at the same time. (Check out this month’s print article on Dual Credit featuring another Career Center teacher, Dave Jones.)

“Dual enrollment is a great opportunity that allows high school students to get a jumpstart on their college careers for very little cost. MSU Billings partners with many schools in Billings and the surrounding communities to offer college-level courses to high school students. More than 800 students, a record number, are taking dual credit through MSUB or City College this year.

-Kalli Payne, MSUB Dual Credit Director

There are many benefits of taking a Dual Credit class. Chrissy shared, “I think that there are two main reasons that Dual Credit is so important in high school. The first is the most basic, and it is simply the fact that you are getting a head start on your college education [in the most cost-effective manner]. The second is because I feel that there are many students who are intimidated by the aspect of college and by offering them an opportunity to try some college classes - in a safe environment - with teachers they are already comfortable with, allows them to see that they are capable of being successful in a college setting.

And while this option isn’t for all students, Chrissy noted that she has had some students graduate high school with enough credits that they are technically already a sophomore in college. “I have also had students who were completely against going to college because they were convinced that they couldn't do the math...talked them into taking one of my dual credit classes and they did great.”

Whether you’re college-bound or not, interested in Dual Credit classes or not, having a math teacher like Mrs. Rossow means math class will be anything but boring!

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