Some teachers are fortunate to find their professional niche early in their career and to be able to stick with it for many years. Mindi Myers, now in her 14th year of teaching fifth grade students at Fairmeadows Elementary School in West Des Moines, is one of them.
“I like that they’re old enough to be independent and old enough to have fun with,” says Myers, when asked why she enjoys teaching fifth grade students. “They have a sense of humor and we can joke around, yet they know when it’s time to get serious.”
Schoolwork becomes more serious with each passing year, and Myers says fifth grade is significant because it begins to prepare them for junior high school.
“Fifth and sixth grades are the bridge to junior high,” she says. “We expect them to be more independent.”
Myers leads a homeroom class of 27 students, but teaches math and science to all fifth grade students at Fairmeadows. This month, she will focus her lessons on subjects like rocks and minerals for science, and geometry for math.
“We’re getting near the end of the year so there’s a lot of testing,” she says. “We also talk about how what we learn today can help us in the future as we start to think about college and careers.”
Year-end testing is also a rewarding time for Myers, who enjoys seeing the progress students make during the school year.
“Every student grows during the year, and it’s fun to see that evolution,” she says.
Myers also likes the team she works with at Fairmeadows.
“They are amazing. We plan together and support one another,” she says. “It’s a family environment at Fairmeadows. We have nice kids and supportive parents, and they make our work fun so that the days go by fast.”