Courtney King knows how time can fly by when she is having fun.
One year ago, she was graduating from Drake University with her bachelor’s degree in elementary education with endorsements in early childhood and special education, English as a Second Language and reading. Last month, she wrapped up her first year of teaching, applying what she learned in school and on the job to educate young ESL students at Jensen Elementary School in Urbandale.
“The year went by so fast. I’m excited to come back next year,” says King. “I got to know the staff and the students and what worked for me and what didn’t. I love the people I work with and the kids teach me things.”
King may have learned a thing or two from her students about teaching during her first year at Jensen, but the important lessons she taught them will last them a lifetime as they mature as learners.
As an ESL teacher, King works with first and second grade students who speak a variety of languages, but she also works with entire classrooms filled with native and non-native English speaking students.
“We do whole group and small group reading lessons and it benefits all the kids,” she says. “I like that aspect of the job.”
King’s lessons range from basic reading and math skills, to helping students better understand their education and school.
“Some students are more shy than others. The main thing is to be open and friendly and smile a lot,” she says.
Smiling seems to come natural to King. When asked what they liked the most about their teacher, the students who commented for this story all noted her positive attitude and smile.
“It’s fun building personal relationships with the kids and seeing them grow,” King says. “They tell me when they get good grades. I love it.”