Education students learn from Iowa’s Teacher of the Year


Photo: Ethan Crane/Iowa State Daily

Charity Campbell gives a presentation at a lunch in her honor. Campbell is the recipient of the Iowa Teacher of the Year award.

Lindsay Hostert

Students in the education program at Iowa State got an education of their own when Charity Campbell, Iowa’s 2012 Teacher of the Year, visited Iowa State.

A physical education teacher at Norwalk Middle School, Campbell spoke in several classes about her experiences as a teacher and becoming Teacher of the Year. She gave tips and advice to students who were eager to learn about her curriculum and teaching style.

Erin March, senior in elementary education, said she was excited to see Campbell because “she’s the Teacher of the Year. I’m hoping to get some advice about teaching as a whole.”

March said in addition: “Teachers all over Iowa know who she is.”

The students were able to learn about Campbell’s experiences and ask questions to shape how they may run their own classrooms someday.

Chantel Lischer, senior in elementary education, said: “It gets pre-service teachers excited. Everyone is excited to see the Teacher of the Year. It inspires you.”

Campbell told stories about the most rewarding part of teaching for her: seeing students make healthier changes in their lives and seeing her class work together and include everyone. 

She began her speech by explaining how she first became interested in teaching. 

“I started as a teacher in third grade, assisting my gymnastics teacher,” she said

But it was her high school teachers, she said, who inspired her the most and motivated her to become a teacher.

Campbell said: “I do not like the classroom. I like my kids up and moving.”

It was for this reason that she knew she wanted to get into physical education, where her classroom would be in the gymnasium and outdoors.

Campbell spoke about her time as Teacher of the Year.

“It has been an amazing experience. It’s also been the best year of my professional development.”

Many people ask Campbell, “Why are you Teacher of the Year?”

She said she responds the same way each time. “I have a strong support system; I haven’t done this by myself,” Campbell said. “I’m not here because I’m something amazing. I’m here because I had a great support system and great opportunities.”

Campbell closed her speech by saying: “I love being a teacher. I can’t imagine doing anything else.” She wanted all the pre-service teachers present to understand that “being a teacher isn’t something you just go out and do. Sometimes you have to ask for help.”