A welcoming, caring environment that’s fun and offers hands-on opportunities is what fourth-grade teacher Katie Meyer wants to provide her students.
That means dissecting owl pellets in science to taking on the persona of a famous person as part of their “Hall of Fame” project, by getting dressed up and making a presentation to their parents and classmates as that individual.
Meyer, who works at Maple Grove Elementary in West Des Moines, says her teaching philosophy also includes helping students build positive relationships with their peers and to learn to like school.
Teaching was a career she always wanted to go into, to have the opportunity to work with children. She remembers, too, the positive experiences she had with some of her own teachers.
Some of the best parts of her job include the variety each day brings and building relationships with the kids, who are fun to be with and like being in school.
But her favorite subject to teach is reading.
“I have a love of books, so I try to get my students more involved in reading,” she says. Her favorite book to share with her students is “Where the Red Fern Grows,” which teaches them compassion and hard work. It also touches them on an emotional level.
“It’s a tear-jerker,” she says.
Meyer has found the most challenging part of teaching has been the time element and making sure she adequately covers all of the subjects each day. There’s also the concern that she’s met the needs of students who are struggling, and hoping that everything she’s done will help them get to the next level of learning.
It can be chaotic, but Meyer says, “I do like being busy all day.”
She’s enjoyed her time teaching in Waukee so far and says it’s been a very welcoming school district to students and staff.
“I think Waukee is a great district to be in,” she says.
Meyer has a degree in elementary education from the University of Northern Iowa, with a minor in literacy. She lives in Waukee with her husband, Ryan Meyer, and their daughter, Ava.