Achievement Story: Marissa Anderson, Substitute Teacher and District Alum
Sioux City, Iowa – A realization that students needed consistency in the classroom spurred Marissa Anderson to become part of the solution.
In November, Marissa took a long-term substitute teaching position in fourth grade at Unity Elementary School, an opportunity that intrigued her because of her desire to help students.
“I’ve always been up for a challenge, and I could see that the students needed someone to be here every day to give them consistency and structure. They have such potential to be amazing students and people,” says Marissa, a West High School alum and Northeast Community College graduate. “I love being their teacher.”
Marissa’s subbing journey began in October 2020 when she received her subbing authorization. At the time, Marissa was an instructional assistant at Loess Hills Computer Programming Elementary School, a position she had held for three years. However, the opportunity to have a flexible schedule and additional income as a substitute teacher pulled her into the world of subbing.
“When I left my position as an instructional assistant, it hit me that I was essentially self-employed as a substitute teacher,” recalls Marissa. “I love the Sioux City School District and have only subbed in the District. I have a history in this district and couldn’t imagine not working with such amazing people every day.”
Over the last couple of months, Marissa says she has quickly discovered the rewards – and challenges – of subbing.
“It’s very rewarding to know that I am helping the best way I can and getting to do what I love which is working with children. However, it can be challenging to make sure all of my students are getting enough one-on-one attention. I don’t want any of my students to struggle and not receive the attention they need,” says Marissa.
When she isn’t planning her next lesson plan, Marissa is at home answering questions about her classroom from her own son, a fourth-grader in the District who likes to quiz his mom about whether or not her classroom is studying the same lesson plans as his classroom at another school. Marissa’s answer is always yes. The lesson plans are the same.
“Working with children is such an adventure,” adds Marissa. “I love my class. They are funny, smart, and caring. Unity Elementary School is very inviting, and the staff is incredibly helpful. They are always there for me when I need something. I am enjoying my time here.”