Jill Nelson was the same age as her students at South Prairie Elementary School when she decided what her career path would be.
“Teaching is something I’ve wanted to do since I was in first grade,” she says. “I don’t see myself in any other career”
This is Nelson’s first year at the Dallas Center-Grimes School District. She earned her early childhood education degree with an endorsement in reading from Iowa State University in 2006. She taught special education preschool at Ruthven-Ayreshire School District and then kindergarten at West Monona School District.
“I enjoyed the last school where I taught, but I’m enjoying it here,” Nelson says. “There are different components in each school, but DC-G is always looking for ways to make children successful, and they give us the tools to make that happen.”
After teaching some of the youngest students, Nelson was ready for something new.
“Kindergarten was fun, but I enjoy seeing how much the students can read in first grade,” Nelson says.
Her favorite subject to teach is writing.
“It’s amazing to see the growth in the students; they come in to first grade unable to write and now they are writing stories,” she says, “They are so excited to be able to write about all they’ve learned and everything they know.”
Nelson particularly enjoys the Daily Five program about reading and writing.
“I get to spend time one on one with the students and also meet in small groups,” she says.
Nelson is starting her master’s in speech language pathology.
“Being in lower elementary education, I see some kids having difficulty with speech and grammar,” she says, “It is so important to help them to be successful.”
Nelson’s students go to art class once every six days and do projects that go along with their curriculum. This year the kids chose to make books for children who have less, instead of exchanging gifts among themselves.
“They are so excited to help others to be happy,” Nelson says.