Christine Krohn, language arts teacher at St. Patrick’s Catholic school, didn’t have a desire to teach while growing up in her home state of Maryland.
She knew she wanted to major in English, but she didn’t see teaching in her future. All that changed the summer between high school and college when she worked at Mar-Lu-Ridge Camp and Retreat Center, a Lutheran summer camp in Frederick County, Md.
“Once I started working with kids and realizing the impact you can have, it just steered me in that direction,” Krohn says.
She later attended the University of Mary Washington in Fredricksburg, Va., where she received her bachelor’s degree in education. In 2005, she accepted the language arts position with St. Patrick’s Catholic School. The 2013 – 2014 school year will mark her ninth year teaching sixth to eighth grade students.
As a language arts teacher, Krohn’s focus is, of course, reading and writing. With reading, she likes to give her students lots of choices: read alone, read with a partner or read with a group.
Motivating students to write is more of a challenge. Krohn consults regularly with other teachers to find the best writing assignments. One of her favorite assignments asks students to look at a picture of a person — an older person, a little girl or a businessman — and write in the voice of the person in the picture.
“I think (the assignment) was challenging for them, but the results were just amazing with what they came up with,” Krohn says. “They were so creative.”
Krohn says her favorite day of the school year is the first day when her students are the most excited and ready to learn. But when asked to talk about her most memorable day as a teacher, she tells a more poignant story. She remembers when one of her students returned to school after one of his parents had passed away.
“When he came back to school, the kids just kind of surrounded him and comforted him and made him feel welcomed back,” Krohn says. “While it wasn’t a happy day by any means, it was a day that really showed the true color of our kids. I think it’s in those hard moments that the kids really step up and show who they’re going to be. They joke around with each other and pick on each other, but when it comes down to it they are there for each other.”
Krohn’s husband, Nathan Krohn, is a native of Winterset. He will teach eighth grade science at Perry Middle School beginning this fall, having previously taught at Perry Elementary School.