Stormy Fish puts the fun into learning for third and fourth grade students at the Greene County Elementary School in Grand Junction.
In her 17th year of teaching, Fish is as enthusiastic and energetic as she was from the very first year. Fish graduated from Des Moines Area Community College and finished her elementary education degree with a specialization in social studies at Iowa State University in Ames. She also worked full time at Hy-Vee in Perry while she went to college, and she still works for them doing training sessions.
Her first two years after graduation from college were spent as a teacher’s associate before landing the full-time job of teaching fourth grade. She also taught combined fourth and fifth grade classes for a few years, and this year is teaching combined third and fourth grades.
“I’ve been at East Greene Elementary all this time,” she says. “Next year the name turns to Greene County Elementary.”
Fish says she knew from first grade on she wanted to be a teacher. She was particularly inspired by Marjean Gries, who was her junior high physical education teacher.
“Mrs. Gries was always good with the students, and I could talk with her about anything,” Fish says.
The same caring attitude has been brought forward by Fish.
“Just watching the kids get it — that ‘aha’ moment, makes teaching worthwhile,” she says. “I can be having the worst day and be in the worst mood ever, then come into class, and the students make me happy.”
Even though Fish’s specialization area was social studies, she likes to and does teach fourth grade science.
“The students love science because it is so hands-on. The goal is to have the students come up with t heir own experiments,” she says.
When the students first come into fourth grade science, they aren’t very excited, but after they have been in the classroom a week, they can’t wait to get back to the science class, she says.
Fourth grade is also the grade when many students really find their love of reading, Fish says.
And, of course, she adds with a flash of a smile, “I couldn’t do it all without my amazing support staff.”