Although it’s her first year, Monica Dickenson already feels the strong support of the administration and the freedom to run her classroom as she likes. She thoroughly enjoys the Christian environment she’s immersed in every day.
As a third grade teacher at Iowa Christian Academy, Dickenson loves that her students love to learn and have spunk for life. She has 15 third graders this year.
The most important Biblical message she wants her students to keep with them is the fact they are loved. She wants them to know that they possess incredible value and great importance.
She also works on instilling a sense of ownership in her students. They are old enough to be able to work through a list on the board and accomplish all the tasks listed on their own.
“It’s part of growing up,” Dickenson says. “This kind of behavior starts at home.”
Her November study includes pilgrims. The students’ task is to do research on greats such as Christopher Columbus, Captain John Smith and Pocahontas. Once they have enough information, the class creates a Facebook page on them.
“We create friends for each of our historical characters,” she says. “The stuff they come up with to put on these Facebook pages is just a riot.”
Another seasonal project she has planned is baking pumpkin pies to see the physical and chemical changes.
She says the dynamics of her classroom are rather interesting this year. With a third of the class only children, a third oldest children and the rest youngest children, this sort of a dynamic creates a pull for attention with bold, domineering personalities.
With lots of signing to instill creativity and individual learning, she thinks this is just one healthy way to teach a group of bold children.
“We start every day with devotions and prayer requests,” Dickenson says. “It really is a great way to speak life into them, not to mention, their prayers are really heartfelt.”
In her spare time, the Oskaloosa native can be found in the kitchen cooking or baking. During the summer months she manages 150 lifeguards at Adventure Bay at Adventureland.