Year One: New Teachers Prep for First Year of Teaching

MCTSeptember 15, 2022

Madison Howe always knew she wanted to be a teacher when she grew up. Now after years of dreaming and education, she finally has her very first classroom.

“I’d sit there in class and just think, ‘I’m going do that in my classroom someday,'” said Howe.

Howe, a Mason City alum, is returning to the district that was influential in her decision to teach. She will be teaching fifth-grade literacy and social studies at Lincoln Intermediate School.

“I still see my teachers in the hallways and at different school districts, and it’s just so cool to see,” she said.

Howe is being joined by fellow first-year teacher and Mason City graduate Maddie Thoms. Thoms, who will be teaching special education at John Adams Middle School, credited her mother, a teacher, for being the influence in her life to head into education.

“I’ve always grown up with being in her classrooms. I knew that it just was something I wanted to do as well,” said Thoms.

Howe and Thoms are among the many first-time teachers about to take on their year one in North Iowa.

As new teachers, they have gone through a series of training sessions and meetings before the first day of school. They have been instructed in everything from how to aid students with trauma to individualized education plan systems. They’ve networked with colleagues and fellow new educators.

“It’s nice that everyone is learning at the same time along with me. I’m not just ‘the newbie,'” said Thoms.



The two new teachers have also been setting up their classrooms.

“I’ve been slowly gathering things for my classroom for years and years now,” said Howe. “I have an entire spare bedroom just full of things that once I knew I had the job, I was just organizing everything and putting everything into bins. I couldn’t wait to get into the classroom to get everything set up.”

“(I’m) just kind of getting things decorated, getting things started, and making it feel homey for my students so that they feel comfortable in this space as well,” said Thoms.

The training sessions helped both develop goals for their first year of teaching. For Howe, its to be a continuous learner alongside fellow teachers and students. For Thoms, its being present with her students and establishing relationships.

“I want my students to know that I care about them and know that I’m their advocate and that they can go to me for anything,” said Thoms.

“I just mainly want what my teachers instilled in me, that learning can be exciting and learning can be so much fun,” said Howe.

Thoms and Howe have experienced a mix of emotions about the upcoming first day of school, but overall they feel ready to tackle year one of teaching.

“I’m mostly excited. I’m just so excited, and I’ve been counting down the days in my calendar,” said Howe.



This article is written by Abby Koch from Tribune Content Agency and was legally licensed via the Tribune Content Agency through the Industry Dive Content Marketplace. Please direct all licensing questions to