Jayna Gossling, third grade teacher at Dallas Center - Grimes, grew up in a family of teachers knowing that she was meant to become a teacher herself, as many other teachers do.
“My mom was an elementary teacher for 36 years, so I sort of grew up in the classroom,” she said. “I can remember pretending to teach lessons to an imaginary class in her room when I was a first grader. My sister and uncle were both teachers as well. I guess I always felt teaching was in my blood, and I don’t remember ever really thinking of becoming anything else.”
Gossling received her elementary education degree from Central College with endorsements in Spanish and Coaching. In 2004 she received her masters in Teaching and Learning with Technology from Ashford University. Since moving to DC-G, she has completed her reading endorsement through Viterbo University.
“I wanted to be a Spanish teacher at first but realized I love working with younger students,” Gossling said. “I love the combination of innocence, eagerness to learn, and funny little developing personalities that third graders bring to the table. There’s never a dull moment.”
Gossling has now taught for 21 years. In her career up to this point, she taught fourth grade for ten years and third grade for three years in Clinton, Iowa. For the past eight years, she has been teaching third grade at DC-G both at South Prairie and North Ridge Elementaries. “DC-G provided me the opportunity to get my reading endorsement at a drastically reduced rate through a partnership with Viterbo, which was really amazing on multiple levels,” Gossling exclaims. While her experience at DC-G has been a great one, Gossling credits her love for teaching to the students she interacts with in the classroom every day.
“I get to be a part of helping kids get better at something every single day,” Gossling gushes.
“I love the ‘art’ of teaching best,” Gossling says, explaining her favorite part of the job. “I love the magical feeling of finding just the right way to get through to a student, whether it’s in an academic or social area. I love building relationships in the classroom and finding something to laugh about together every day, too. I can also honestly say that I am never bored in this job. Ever.”
Although kids often say things to her that she would like to remember, Gossling admits there was one thing a student said that she would rather forget.
“A classroom is like a big family, right? So it’s not uncommon at all for kids to call me ‘Mom’ accidentally. But, one year, when I was all of about 37 years old, a student came up to ask me a question and started with, ‘Great-Grandma…’ Ouch,” Gossling laughs.
Being in a position that seems like such a perfect fit, Gossling says she doesn’t see herself anywhere else as time moves forward.
“For myself, I hope to keep teaching as long as I feel I am still making a positive impact. (I do dream of having a little less homework and a little more sleep some day. I have not mastered that yet.) For my students, I always hope for them to grow up to be flexible thinkers and compassionate human beings.”
Gossling and her husband, Brian, of 18 years live in Johnston and have three children: Grant, 14, Anna, 10, and Evan, 5.