Jayna Gossling is a third grade teacher at North Ridge Elementary School in Grimes.
“In my 20-plus years teaching both third and fourth grades, I would have said earlier that fourth grade was my favorite. But now I say this is where I belong. I love the third graders; they are fun people,” Gossling says.
Gossling grew up in Pella and graduated Pella High School. She attended Central College where she earned her degree in elementary education with minors in Spanish, coaching and reading. She later earned her master’s degree in teaching and learning with technology at Ashford University in Clinton.
Gossling began her teaching career in the Clinton School District, where she taught fourth grade for 10 years and third grade for three years. She also coached high school track at Clinton High School.
“I love the beginning of the day,” Gossling says, watching the kids come in and listen to the stories of their lives. “Third graders always have something to share.”
Although Gossling loves to read and write, her favorite subjects to teach are math and science.
“There are so many analytical things kids have to do and examine and ask questions,” she says.
Early in the school year third graders do experiments in science, and love to take charge.
“They like to take a project and go with it,” Gossling says. “Right now we are conducting experiments with seeds, to watch what makes them sprout, what makes them grow and what makes them stop growing.”
There is a new program in math that gives the kids lots of opportunities to work with one another.
“It gives them extra time to think things through,” Gossling says. “I like that about the program. We can do flexible things with numbers, such as how numbers can be put together and taken apart. Math used to be more about getting the answers. Now it’s more about how to get there. That’s part of the fun.”
Gossling’s hobbies include reading — historical fiction right now — running, biking and attending her three children’s school activities.
‘I grew up in a teaching family,” Gossling says. “Both my mother and sister are teachers. When I was growing up I spent a lot of time in the classrooms with my mother and played school with my dolls a lot, too.
“I’ve taught here in Dallas Center-Grimes School District for 13 years now,” Gossling says. “And I love teaching with the teachers here. The third grade team is great to work with.”