Admiring teachers from a very young age, Christine I. Fransen enjoyed playing school with her siblings when she was a child, where she always played as the teacher. As a young adult, she discovered her natural affinity for teaching, and thus commenced her journey into becoming an educator of mathematics. Attending the University of Illinois, she received a Bachelor of Science in mathematics education in 1969, followed by a Master of Science in mathematics from Northeastern Illinois University in 1971. Since then, she has been certified as an educator of adolescent and young adulthood mathematics through the National Board of Professional Teaching Standards, the first mathematics teacher in Chicago, IL, to obtain such a title.
Since receiving her undergraduate degree, Ms. Fransen served as a mathematics teacher at Senn High School in Chicago, holding the role for 43 fruitful years prior to her retirement in 2012. During her tenure as a teacher, she enjoyed allowing students to think independently, which was vastly different from other educators’ teaching modalities at the time. Compiling a dozen students into a group, she proposed a theorem and asked her students to prove that theorem using collaborative methods. After a period of time, each group of students proposed the correct answer to the theorem, which proved to be an ultimate highlight of Ms. Fransen’s career.
Believing in the power of working with others and receiving advice when obstacles occur, she was heavily influenced by her own high school English teacher, whose teaching methods proved that she genuinely cared about each of her students and performed the impossible to help them achieve greatness. Since delving into her career, Ms. Fransen has spoken at several Illinois Council of Teachers of Mathematics Conferences and served as a mentor for Nurturing Teacher Leadership.
A native of Chicago, Ms. Fransen was born on September 3, 1947, to parents Henry Fransen and Irene Antoinette Ross. One of eight siblings in her family, she enjoys photography, gardening, and coin collecting in her spare time.
Contact Ms. Fransen: