by ADAM GRUENEWALD
With ongoing construction in the background, Central Elementary teachers and students organized for the school year near the playground on a sun-filled and bright Tuesday morning.
In addition to new students, among the group were several new teachers, including third grade teacher Katrina Jaeger.
Jaeger, originally from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, was excited to begin the new year with her first full-time teaching position after graduating from the University of Minnesota with a master’s degree in elementary education. She also earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Minnesota in elementary education with a minor in design.
“I want to make a difference in kids’ futures, helping them succeed academically and socially,” said Jaeger, 24. “And be a role model and inspiration to young people.”
Prior to the start of school, Jaeger was looking forward to making an impact in teaching third grade, a grade she particularly enjoys.
“I like third grade because at this point they’re in the middle of the range so we can read to learn rather than learn to read,” she said. “There’s a lot of social and developmental growth that’s fun to see and they’re not too old to do cooperative learning.”
While she was admittedly a little nervous, Jaeger was ready to begin the first day.
“I feel pretty confident,” she said. “My goal for the first day is to really build a sense of community and a positive environment with cooperative learning activities.”
After she gathered with her 23 students and led them inside, students placed their school supplies in their desks, sharpened their pencils, received planners from their teacher, and quickly settled at their desks.
Once settled, Jaeger began taking lunch orders and attendance, while students shared some of their favorite books and favorite summer activities with each other, such as trips to Valleyfair and Wisconsin Dells or getting a new dog.
After sharing with the other students in their table groups, Jaeger gathered students together, reviewing the routines of the day before introducing a classroom game where they got to know one another by filling out a scavenger hunt.
Jaeger said she would continue to focus on getting to know one another activities and the daily routine for the remainder of the week.
She also was looking ahead to helping Central School District achieve its goals and continue to have success in education.
“I feel that education in general is moving in a positive direction,” she said. “There’s a lot of growth and expanding areas around the Twin Cities that I’m very fond of.”
Contact Adam Gruenewald at firstname.lastname@example.org.