Karly Palmer

Classroom experience solidifies Karly’s desire to teach

Karly grew up around educators. Four generations of her family found their passion for teaching, and Karly was no exception. Although she never once felt pressured to follow those before her, she found enjoyment watching them and their careers.

“Being around teachers in my family helped me see I had the drive and potential to do it too,” she said.

She knew this from a young age. She started by going to her mother’s kindergarten class to play with the kids. As she got older, she continued enjoying playing school with friends. In high school, she volunteered at an elementary school, giving kids individual attention and assisting in learning activities.

“I sometimes go back and act as a sub’s assistant,” she said. “I have worked with a variety of students, but this experience taught me how much I wanted to teach kids and elementary education.”

In addition to spending time in a classroom, Karly gained experience volunteering abroad when her family moved to Switzerland for a year her sophomore year in college. Although it meant taking a few online classes and graduating later, Karly loved every minute of experiencing the different culture.

“It opened my eyes to how different education is in different countries,” she said. “It’s cool to see how different the focuses are. I may be a semester behind because of it, but it was definitely worth it.”

Through all her experiences, before and during college, Karly felt more and more assured of her career choice. She advises other students deciding if teaching is right for them to get into as many classrooms as possible, even if they aren’t in college.

“Experience is the most beneficial thing in seeing if it’s what you want,” she said. “Volunteering before Iowa State opened my eyes to what goes on in a classroom. So volunteer and work with kids. You learn so much more from being in a classroom.”