As a college student, Emily Sperfslage didn’t expect to one day spend her days teaching ninth graders about The Odyssey.
Sperfslage graduated from the University of Iowa with a degree in English. After graduating from college, she and her husband moved to south Florida to enjoy living near the beach. While in Florida, Sperfslage was hired to teach English to high school students just a week before classes began. During the next several months, she went back to school to get her certification to teach while spending her days in the classroom.
When their first daughter was born, the family decided it was time to move back to Iowa. Sperfslage was hired after completing a Skype interview with members of the Ankeny administration..
The move to Ankeny has been a good one for Sperfslage.
“I am so happy here,” she says.
Sperfslage currently teaches six sections of English to ninth graders at Northview Middle School. She enjoys having the chance to work with freshman before they head off to Centennial.
“They are much more accessible to us as teachers, and they are more willing to take risks because they don’t have all the other big scary fears that happen when they get into the big building,” says Sperfslage. “Being in an eight/nine building is helping them to grow without the fears that go along with being in a larger high school building.”
Sperfslage noted she has seen exceptional growth as a result of the new standards based grading. She says her students have extended their learning, and she has seen them accomplish amazing things. After teaching in both Florida and Iowa, Sperfslage knows that Ankeny schools are fantastic.
“(We are) surpassing other districts that I have seen and been a part of, and we should be really proud of what we are doing in Ankeny,” she says.
Teaching in the Ankeny School District has been a good fit for Sperfslage.
“I am the happiest I have ever been in my teaching career, and it is a combination of the things the district is doing, and the students that I have had a chance to teach,” she says.