Wednesday, July 21, 2021

From building relationships to navigating the ins-and outs of a new job, the first year of a career can be a stressful and confusing time. We are asking recent alumni entering the first year of their career to tell us their goals, worries, and more. Then we will check back with them at the end of the year. Our first alumna is Elizabeth Johnson, who graduated in 2021 with her Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education and endorsements in reading and English as a Second Language.

Where are you working and what grade are you teaching?

I will be teaching Kindergarten at Borlaug Elementary School here in Coralville! 


What are you most excited for?

I am most excited to meet my students! I can't wait to get to know them. 


What are you most nervous about?

I am nervous about ensuring my instruction meets the wide range of needs my Kindergartners will have. Especially since this will be their first year in school, I know their backgrounds and prior academic experience will vary greatly. 


What do you think the biggest challenge will be?

I think a big challenge for Kindergarten specifically is teaching my kiddos how school works. They need to learn everything from how to hold a pencil, how to raise your hand, and social skills like how to make friends! 


What do you feel most prepared for? Least prepared for?

I feel most prepared for building relationships with my students; that has been the center of my teaching philosophy from the start. I feel least prepared for the 'unknowns' of teaching in this pandemic-era. Who knows what might happen next! 



Finally, what are your biggest goals or hopes for your first year of teaching?

My biggest goal is for my students to feel at home in my classroom. I want my classroom to be a space where students feel comfortable to make mistakes, ask questions, take risks, and grow in every way possible. I can only imagine the growth my kids will have from their very first day of school through the last. I can't wait!