Maleea Gannon is in her first year teaching at Greene County Intermediate School, but this isn’t her first year teaching.
Gannon moved to Iowa from Ohio, where she taught reading and language arts for eight years. She moved back to Iowa with her husband, Ben, and their children last year.
“My husband’s dream was to come back out here to help with the farming,” she says. Her husband is from the Rippey area.
Moving from Ohio to Iowa hasn’t changed Gannon’s view of teaching. She still loves the job. At the intermediate school her job is teaching fifth-grade reading.
“I love to see that light come on when they discover something new, when they figure something out,” she says. “It is super exciting to watch the students grow and develop in their reading.”
Gannon allows students to make many of their own book choices.
“I believe choices, allowing them to choose something they are interested in, is a top factor in reading,” she says. “I want them to be lifelong readers.”
Gannon gives the students an interest inventory at the beginning of the year to help them find books they like. This year many students are reading “Percy Jackson and the Olympians,” a fantasy story series about a young man and his friends who is half human and half Greek god, also called demi-gods.
Another popular series of books is “Divergent,” a sci-fi series based in a futuristic Chicago.
Earlier, when “The Hobbit” was released, many of the fifth graders at the time liked reading the book. Popular genres for fifth graders seem to be comedy, horror and realistic fiction, Gannon says.
“I think third grade is the time when a lot of children begin developing the love of reading,” she says.
Gannon holds a reading endorsement for kindergarten through eighth grade reading. She received the endorsement and her bachelor’s degree in education from Florida Gulf Coast University in Fort Myers. She grew up and graduated the Fort Myers area.