CHARLES CITY, Iowa - Walk into Jolynn Eastman's classroom at Washington Elementary, and you'll see 1st graders combining lessons with fun!
Jody Jacobson is part of the Foster Grandparent program, and has been a part of Mrs. Eastman's classes for about 3 years. She has nothing but positive reviews.
"She's good with the kids, she really treats them well, and helps them learn about writing and math. It's fun."
"The kids trust her and she's so very nice."
Initially, Eastman planned to specialize in early childhood and work in a daycare. When she began teaching, she started the first two years of her career working in Preschool special education at Head Start; now in her 11th year of teaching 1st grade, she credits her past teachers by following in their footsteps.
"When I was in 8th grade, Mrs. Patacek, who was a Kindergarten teacher at that time, encouraged me to come down to her room during one of my study halls and help in her room. And from then on, she's been the one that influenced me to become a teacher."
Currently, she's having her students become their own composers of sorts, by taking a subject and turning it into a song.
"We're working on poetry in writing, by taking songs and writing their own verses for them."
In addition, she's having students sharpen their other skills
"As far as writing, we've done small moment writing, non-fiction writing, and some chapter writing. For math, it's a lot of addition and subtraction of numbers. For reading, we're talking about being the boss of your reading by trying a strategy, such as using big words."
What's the one thing she loves about continuing to teach?
"Seeing their bright smiles and loving seeing the kids."