A number of educators grow up with something more than the desire to teach. Many of them also excel at various extra-curricular activities, and, usually, that means sports.
Cris Goodale is one of those guys.
“I always enjoyed sports and knew I wanted to coach,” Goodale recalls. “At that time in order to coach, you had to be a teacher. When I was a junior in high school, I decided that teaching and coaching and working with students was what I wanted to do.”
Although he originally thought he wanted to teach Industrial Arts, Goodale ultimately decided he didn’t like the setting of an industrial arts classroom. Instead, he pursued math.
“I had an interest in math and enjoyed the math classes I was taking at that time in college and decided then to be a math teacher.”
Goodale also admits: “I had been enrolled in very few math classes prior to that so I had a lot of math classes to catch up on. My last two years of college were all math classes.”
His love of algebra and calculus classes coupled with his preference of working with older students led to his pursuit of a secondary teaching degree. “I wanted to coach high school and wanted to be able to work with the kids that I was coaching,” Goodale explains. Goodale spent the first five years of his 29-year teaching career in Ashland, Missouri but eventually moved home to Iowa so that his children could be closer to their grandparents. He ended up in Adel-DeSoto-Minburn and has remained there for the past 25 years. “Teaching at A-D-M has been rewarding for me,” Goodale shares. “We have great students and a wonderful staff of teachers and administrators. A-D-M values teachers input in different teaching techniques but also allows teachers to teach using their own style and method that best motivates the students.”
But teaching in such a great school district isn’t the only perk of a career in education for him. Goodale describes the enjoyment he gets from working with a variety of people and a variety of personalities. He admits that he enjoys “the challenge of teaching to the different personalities and levels of student abilities.”
And Goodale admits that although he is tough on students in the classroom, he knows they appreciate that push he gives them academically. Goodale admits how he enjoys when students come back and tell him “that they appreciate how much I pushed and challenged them and ultimately how much I taught them during high school, even though at the time they felt I was too hard on them. I have a lot of students come back and tell me how glad they were to have had my class and how helpful it is for them.”
And sometimes, those students come back to thank him for inspiring their career choice. Sometimes “prior students tell me that they are majoring in mathematics and that it was my class that inspired them to pursue this major. It is a wonderful feeling as a teacher to know that you can impact students this way.”
What does Goodale see in his own future?
He hopes to be able to help students take away learning from his class that they can use in the future, whether that is in college classes, future jobs, or just everyday life experiences. “Math is something that students will use for the rest of their life. My classes are not just about math, but logic, thinking skills, and work habits.”
Cris Goodale has been married for 27 years, and he and his wife have two kids. Ryan is 23 and works for John Deere in Silvis, Illinois, and Staci, 21, is a Junior at Iowa State majoring in Kinesiology pre-health. In his spare time, Cris enjoys hunting, fishing, and restoring old cars. He also acts as the Head Boys and Girls Golf Coach at A-D-M High School.