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Dr. K. Makes Class Memorable, Motivational

Dr. Rick Krustchinsky is, by nature, an entertainer. You might not find him doing karaoke on the weekends, nor would you find him auditioning for the next Broadway play. But when it comes to teaching a course in the School of Education at the University of St. Thomas, the classroom turns into his stage.

View a class on the integration of mathematics and literature where Dr. Rick Krustchinsky, an education professor, uses costumes and props to keep his students engaged and interested in the topics he teaches.

A self-described “very shy individual,” Krustchinsky said his love for storytelling shines through when he’s in a classroom, and his vibrant personality engages students in a way that make his classes fun, entertaining and motivational.

Whether he dresses up as Elvis, brings in his fishing gear or begins dancing with a student in the middle of class, each of his whimsical teaching methods are designed to make a point and illustrate the day’s lesson to students.

“Once I get up in front of my college classes, I come alive with excitement and the shyness disappears. Students will often remember a concept you were teaching if you can connect it to a story,” Krustchinsky said.  Dressing up as a character you are describing in your lecture adds a dramatic flair to your lesson, and once again, students will remember that illustration better.”

An avid fisher and gardener, Krustchinsky has taught math and science to students of all ages, from elementary to college, for the past 30 years. But his favorite group, he admits, are college students.

“I think the college years can be the best part of a person’s life,” he said. “They can be full of personal growth and intellectual fulfillment. Personally, my college years at Stephen F. Austin were indeed the best part of my life. I was away from home and on my own for the first time. I love working with students during this period of personal and intellectual exploration.”

Krustchinsky enjoys connecting with his students outside of the classroom setting as well. He plans “Fun Fridays” at local restaurants, where he and other faculty members get the chance to socialize with students at the end of the week.

To learn more about becoming an elementary teacher or the School of Education,
e-mail Dr. Krustchinsky at or call him at 713-525-3545