All teachers have the responsibility to teach their students. For Lisa Clayberg, some of her students also happen to be teachers. As an instructional coach, Clayberg works with staff to learn new techniques and ways of reaching the children in their classrooms.
A teacher for 19 years, Clayberg has spent only the last three as an instructional coach at Ames Middle School. Before that, she taught in several schools, starting in Texas before moving to Kansas City, eventually coming back to Iowa, where she had received her teaching degree from the University of Northern Iowa in 2001. Clayberg spent five years at Nevada before winding up in Ames, where she’s been for about eight years.
Even though she currently has no class of her own, Clayberg loves teaching and enjoys working all kinds of students.
“I always knew that I enjoyed being around children but always envisioned myself teaching younger elementary kids. You can imagine my surprise when I fell in love with the adolescent age group,” says Clayberg. “I love nothing more than connecting with them and helping them navigate the confusing journey from childhood into their teenage years.”
Clayberg strives to make herself a good example for her students. As a literacy teacher, she writes along with her students as much as possible.
“Actions speak so much louder than words with kids. If you want buy-in, you have to walk the walk with them,” Clayberg says.
Next year Clayberg will make the step from working at AMS to a teacher on special assignment for the district, where she will coordinate instruction coaches and district level professional development. Her passion for her students extends to her fellow teachers, as well.
“The ability to have conversations with teachers to help them think critically about what they are doing to reach each and every student is so rewarding,” she says.