Cory Arensdorf, Irving Elementary School 

Subject: Physical Education

Years Teaching: 6 years

Hobbies/Interests: Spending time with family, snow skiing, biking, boating and camping, most outdoor activities.

What do you enjoy most about teaching? Knowing that something I have done has changed the way my students think of themselves, changed who they are for the better, even the simplest of hugs and comments I receive everyday makes me love what I do. When I truly make that special connection and prove to a student that I care and respect them, they really believe that I believe in them, and in turn they start believing in themselves. I have around 400 students being a PE teacher and I want to make a difference in all of their lives but if I know that I have significantly changed even one students life I know what I am doing makes a difference. I WILL change the world…one kid at a time! You always hear that teachers don’t get paid enough (although I would never say no to more money ha), seeing and hearing the things I have from my students…there is NO amount of money can make me feel what I feel at that moment! It is in those moments I know I am doing exactly what I was put on this earth to do. I couldn’t feel more proud of my students than if they were my own kids!

What do you find most challenging about teaching? Teaching in the school that I do you diffidently have challenging moments more than some. When I promise my students that I will always respect them, never yell at them, talk to them, and show them I do care, this can be very challenging at times when it happens multiple times each and everyday. But I noticed that the more I follow that promise the more they respect, care and learn from me, despite how exhausting and challenging it is, it really does work!

Best tip for new teachers: Teaching can be a daunting job, but know through all that pain comes a joy that you cannot describe with words. Be who you were born to be…someone who changes peoples lives. You really do change the world, one kid at a time!

Best tip for career teachers: Never forget the passion that first inspired you to become a teacher. Treat each year like it is your first year teaching, when you felt like you were going to change the world!

Favorite piece of advice for students: We all make mistakes, but it is how we learn from those mistakes that will make you great!

What being a Gold Star Teacher means to you: Being a Gold Star Teacher is a amazing honor! It feels great to know that what you are doing makes a difference to not only your students and school but the community, hopefully that inspires others to do the same. It is wonderful to know your achievements are shown throughout the northeast Iowa community and sends a positive message that we are making the world a better place.