Teaching fourth grade at Hillis Elementary happened almost by accident for Miranda Crisp.
Growing up, school was her safe haven, and unlike most kids, Crisp longed to be there. As she got older she discovered that she also loved working with children, and so began her dream to teach. Upon graduation from Iowa State, Crisp set out on a trying year of teaching kindergarten in another district. She felt her confidence in her teaching abilities bruised. Crisp set out this past fall to be a substitute teacher and regain some of the courage she’d once had.
“I was having doubts in my abilities after having such a year full of unexpected challenges,” she says. “A month or so into the 2012-13 school year, I went to interview, to be a substitute with the DMCSD. At the end of the interview, I was told there was an unexpected opening in one of the schools. I was told my name would be given to the principal as a possible candidate. A day later, I received a call from Beth Sloan, the principal at Hillis, for an interview. It was a whirlwind few days, and I was shocked when I received the call saying they picked me.”
Crisp couldn’t be happier now.
“I’m surrounded by the best staff, the best students,” she says. “Hillis is the best. I feel so much support here. This whole year has solidified my belief that everything happens for a reason.”
Crisp treasures watching her students grow.
“I really enjoy celebrating their successes and pushing their limits,” she says. “Teaching is a way I can leave a little impact in this great big world we live in. I’m learning and evolving as a person while doing it.”
The class has done some cool projects this year.
“We are school ambassadors for bullying, and we helped launch our Stand Up To Bullying Campaign,” Crisp says. “We paired up with a third grade class and did a presentation for the whole school about the effects of bullying. In science we dissected owl pellets to help learn about parts of the body. It was interesting stuff.”
Crisp hopes her students leave her classroom a kinder person who will try their best in all they do. Her advice for the incoming fourth graders is to work hard, do your best and never give up.