Kayla Gjersvik has been preparing for her first full-time teaching position since kindergarten. As a recent graduate from Grand View University, she is now taking on a classroom full of second graders at Clay Elementary.
She was part-time at the school last year in a fourth grade class, so she did learn the ropes of the school before taking on her own classroom.
“I think it’s everything and then some that I imagined,” she says. “There are so many parts to teaching that you don’t realize until you actually are in it.”
Gjersvik says it’s not just focusing on curriculum; it’s working with parents, teams and committees as well as teaching the students.
“I didn’t have all that when I was part time so it’s been a whirlwind of things,” she says.
But Gjersvik adds that the staff at Clay has helped her every step of the way. She says feels like she can go to anyone in the building if she needs help and the other second grade teachers are more than willing.
Gjersvik has always lived in the area, attending Southeast Polk Schools and graduating from the area before going to college.
She says she always knew she was going to be a teacher. Teaching runs in her family, and she began collecting items for her classroom as soon as she started college, including posters, furniture and books.
“My library is very small compared to teachers who have been teaching for 10 years, but I have a base that I could start off with,” she says.
Outside of school, Gjersvik enjoys traveling and photography. She’s been to Italy and Mexico and gone on a cruise to various islands throughout Mexico. She says her nickname is “Kodak Kayla” because she is always taking pictures. The best thing about Italy, she says, was seeing much of the art pieces in person that she had studied in her art history classes.
She also enjoys hanging out with friends and family. “I think I really found out how important they are to have to have something outside of school,” she says.
Gjersvik is getting married next summer and says she feels that is a great break from school.
She has a Yorkshire terrier, Bella, who she adores. “She’s a little princess,” she laughs.
“I’m very lucky,” she says. “I’m really excited to be where I’m at.”