Home in Northeast Iowa

“That’s my super taster, her name is Miss Erika!” I heard one student explain to his mom as he waved to me while I biked by him standing on the sidewalk waiting to cross the street.
“She’s the one that taught me to make those frozen bananas and yogurt!” shouted a first grader to his grandmother while I was out for a mid morning run.
The voices and faces of the children I served and the staff I worked with will forever be a reminder of this year of service.  A year filled with laughter and learning, growing and sharing, moving and teaching, and a year that fills me with thanksgiving for all of the schools and communities that I was able to be a part of.   As I move forward from this year, I am thankful that I was fortunate enough to land a full time position working in Decorah, and that I am able to continue to call Northeast Iowa my home!

“It was so Fun!”

Two pick up trucks with horse trailers and a school bus following closely behind pulled into the gravel drive at Will Baker Park.  Middle school students bounded off the bus in excitement and one by one they collected their bikes and helmets from the back of the trailers.  The day had finally arrived, the day that many of them had waited for all year long, and the day that others feared and were nervous about.  Nevertheless, each student, including one who had never before been allowed to participate in a school field trip, straddled their bikes and with their helmets snug on their heads lined the dirt drive.  Not much time passed before they were off.  Each student and a number of teachers were ready to conquer the hilly, windy Trout Run Trail through the countryside of Northeast Iowa. Continue reading

The Thrill of Tasting

I walked into one of the first grade classrooms and before I could even say a word one of the first graders raised his hand.  I asked him if he had a question and he said, “No, I wanted to tell you that I tried something new!”  “What did you try?” I responded and his answer was, “one of those little tiny orange, I think they’re called cuties, and I even learned how to peel it myself!”  The first grader was beaming as he told me this story and before long another student quickly raised his hand, “I’m excited to try something new today!” he said. Continue reading

A Tasty Treat

With the weather warming up and seemingly here to stay, first graders had the opportunity to make a healthy and delicious frozen snack.  Their patience was tested as they were required to make the snack and wait to eat it until the following day, but from what I have heard from students and staff alike, it is was definitely worth the wait for this simple tasty treat! Continue reading

Learning in Preschool

“The bread!”


Spring seems to be approaching and with the weather warming up and the sun shining North Winneshiek PreK students took some time to plant seeds in hopes of eventually transplanting them into their school garden.  We worked in small groups at the counter and planted both cabbage and cucumbers.  DSCN1502Although the students’ fine motor skills were tested when I asked them to pick out two tiny black cabbage seeds, their knowledge of planting was certainly not lacking.  I have been serving in their classroom consistently throughout the year and as we placed the seeds in cups and watered them at a counter in the back of the classroom I was reminded by multiple students that, “The seeds can’t grow here!”  I had failed to mention to the students that we were eventually going to move the plants to the table near the window, but nevertheless they were quick to observe that the lack of sunlight in the back of classroom was not conducive to plant growth. Continue reading