My name is Monica Dickinson. I am coming to Ankeny Christian Academy with nine years of teaching experience in Christian education. I have taught every grade 2nd through 6th, with many of those being in multi-grade classrooms. However, my passion is with the little ones. So, I am excited to be the new Begindergarten teacher at ACA. Prior to entering college, I knew the Lord was calling me to Christian education. Due to the fact that our Christian walk is not to be separate from our day to day walk, I believe we should educate our children where their faith is integrated into their everyday lives. I believe it is so important to be able to not only teach the students the basic academic subjects, but to teach them about the love of God and about living life the way God wants them to live.
As to my teaching style, I like to have a student driven classroom where the students are engaged and actively learning. Students who are not engaged are not learning. My classroom is not centered on me telling them what to think and believe. Rather, I like to create an atmosphere that is caring and safe, one where a child feels free to explore, make discoveries, and make mistakes as they are learning. I like to create an environment where students feel free to express themselves as who God has made them to be. I like to have activities planned that will get my students actively involved in real life learning, activities that allow them to be explorers, scientists, and mathematicians, where they use their prior knowledge to make discoveries with the new information placed before them.
Outside of my teaching, I am a down to earth, Iowa farm girl. I did not grow up on a farm myself, but lived in the country and spent a lot of time at my grandpa’s farm. I love being outside and working with my hands. I enjoy driving tractors, feeding the animals, and one of my favorite jobs, sheering sheep. I also enjoy cooking and baking, especially to share with others. Sports have also played a large part in my growing up. I played basketball and threw the discus and javelin in track at Nebraska Wesleyan University. These days I enjoy swimming, biking, and running the occasional 5K.
I was very blessed to have been brought up in a Christian home. However, as I have grown, I have realized how important it is to take that foundation, make it your own, and grow. Over the past several years, I have enjoyed getting to know and realize how much we can trust God with our lives. He has every detail, even the ones we do not think about, figured out. We serve a great God who is working all things together for His glory and our good.