Linda Fisher waited to become a teacher after she raised her own children and has obviously found her professional niche now in her eighth year of teaching first grade students at Valerius Elementary School in Urbandale.
“I’ll always stay with first graders. I love that they always come in with a smile on their face every day, that they are very busy and the day is full of activity. It goes by very fast,” she says. “We do a lot of hands-on activities, so they are engaged when they are learning.”
Fisher engages her students in a variety of subjects, but perhaps none more important at that tender age than reading, writing and math. She employs a variety of techniques to teach reading, from singing songs and using “literacy time,” to asking students to read to one another or to her.
“They learn about the components of a story and they seem to pick it up quickly. It’s fun to see then advance at such a quick rate,” she says.
Fisher also encourages them to tell their own stories when working on their writing skills.
“I love it when they write about their families, their friends, or their vacations. They get to share it with the class and that seems to motivate them to do well,” she says.
In math, Fisher teachers her students the basics about telling time, counting money and providing them an introduction to addition and subtraction.
“The more hands-on activities the better,” she says, “so we play a lot of math games.”
Though the students are the most rewarding aspect of her job, Fisher says that she also credits the staff, administration and parents at Valerius for making her job so enjoyable.
“We have a fantastic principal, she’s awesome,” she says. “At Valerius we have developed a true sense of community and everyone has worked hard to develop that. We collaborate with one another and spend time doing what is best for the kids.”