Her fourth grade students at Franklin Elementary School in Boone are reaching that point when what they readily make connections between what is learned in the classroom and what they see and experience when the school door closes behind them at the end of the day.
“They are really starting to think at a higher level,” Castle explains.
Seeing her fourth graders learn and grow is the most rewarding part of her job.
“It’s exciting to see them take on new skills,” she says. “Sometimes it’s a struggle, but then they accomplish it and they get so excited.”
Castle grew up on a farm in southern Iowa’s Davis County, originally thinking that she wanted to become a veterinarian.
“I loved being at home with all the animals,” she recalls. “We had dogs and cats, and lots of cattle, and a horse, and whenever the veterinarian came out I was involved in helping to handle the animals…I liked watching the veterinarian work and he recommended some books for me to read.”
But, as much as she loved the animals, Castle was also discovering a love for working with kids.
“I did some babysitting, taught swimming lessons, and by the time I went to college I knew I wanted to be a teacher,” she notes.
Castle earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education from the University of Northern Iowa and was a student athlete, competing on the track and cross country teams.
Both her upbringing on the farm, and the task of balancing academics with collegiate level athletics taught her a strong work ethic. After graduation, Castle began her teaching career back in her home county, where she also coached girls track.
Now in her 20th year in Boone Schools, Castle also coached for a few years here before starting her own family and dedicating her time with the couple’s three daughters. She still enjoys being active and passing on that work ethic to her students.
“We want them to be good citizens, and I’m always telling them that I’m getting them prepared for fifth grade,” she says. “Academics are important, but so is establishing good work study skills, making connections – not just with the curriculum, but with yourself and the world.”
What do you like best about Mrs. castle?
We get to be active and do jumping jacks.
I just like all the activities she has for us.
She’s a really good teacher, and she’s pretty.