Lining this Clive Elementary classroom are maps, cubbies and science projects. In the middle of the classroom are books, pencil boxes and small desks. Those who fill the small desks are third graders with contagious energy and bigger-than-life questions.
As their teacher, Nic Hoover, stands to deliver with just as much enthusiasm, it makes for a dynamic classroom that has an all-around energy to it.
Amongst the high energy, the Des Moines native understands his students really do love to learn and, more so, love to take their new facts about space, maps or even Australia home to their families. With favorite subjects of science and social studies, it’s not a huge challenge for him to fill them with facts before the day’s end.
Hoover has been at Clive Elementary for 12 years. He sees third graders take great pride in learning and tries to feed this love of learning every day. At this age, they still love school and respect visitors — even him — he shares.
“There is nothing in the way of their dreams,” says Hoover. “It’s a great age.”
That statement appears to be universal. Clive Elementary listens to the sounds of 22 different languages including Bosnian, Chinese, Hindi and Nepali. There are students from countries as far away as Africa, Russia and the Philippines.
All statistics aside, Hoover says third grade is high energy and fun. The respect, pride and laughter from the students to Hoover are evident that there are a lot of good things to like about him as well.
More excitement fills the classroom air as Hoover and his third graders get ready to share their love of learning with residents of local nursing homes. Their upcoming annual field trip is to take a stack of their favorite books and read to the elderly. Third graders look forward to this every year — and so do the residents.
When not teaching, Hoover and his wife and son can be found with season tickets to any Iowa State University football or basketball game. During Iowa’s nice weather, he golfs. With his wife also in education, the two of them have great interest in coaching Special Olympics.