It is a common misconception that learning ends when school ends. However, Colleen Hood is a strong believer in the idea that learning is a life-long process.

She currently teaches second grade at Adel-De Soto-Minburn, but it’s definitely not the only place she has shaped young minds.

"This is my 34th year of teaching," Hood counts. "I began my career at Prairie Valley of Gowrie and taught there for 10 years, followed by one year at Johnston, 10 years at Adel Elementary (all in Kindergarten), six years in Neenah, Wisconsin, and five years at Millard Public Schools in Omaha, Nebraska. "This is my second year back at Adel Elementary where I now teach second grade. During my career I have taught 27 years in Kindergarten, as well as teaching first, second, and fourth grades."

After graduating from North Grundy Center High School, Hood attended Northwestern College in Orange City, Iowa where she originally intended on going into journalism or music.

"After my freshman year of college I served as a camp counselor and music director for my church’s camp for second through eighth graders and discovered my love of teaching," Hood reveals. "I found I had a passion for helping children become life-long learners and began my journey toward becoming a teacher."

And she really seems to have a passion for the younger children.

"I love to teach elementary students!" Hood gushes. "I find it so exciting to watch as these young students learn new skills and become so thrilled with their newfound abilities. It is extremely gratifying to be part of watching them grow and gain self-confidence as they learn to do something that had previously been challenging for them."

Hood also finds herself very lucky to have landed in A-D-M. After working in several places, she says she has become even more aware of how amazing A-D-M is.

"Our schools are definitely always on the cutting edge and our teachers are among the best," Hood explains. "We are provided with very high-quality professional development, which is a key to helping teachers refine their skills and constantly become better at what we do. The families we get to work with are terrific and always willing to help in any way they can.

"We have an incredible group of administrators and an outstanding school board who support us as we strive for increased excellence. I know that I am a better teacher because I teach at A-D-M."

Working in such a great school district surrounded by such exlempar students, Hood has encountered many moments that she says will stay with her for a long time after she is finished teaching.

"The biggest reward of my position is seeing my students’ faces light up when they discover they are capable and good at something," she states. "My job is to guide students in their learning so they can eventually become happy, productive adults who make a positive difference in our world. Each day I know that how I choose to interact with my students can have a great impact on their learning and self-concept; I view this as a big responsibility and amazing privilege."

It’s also her favorite part of the job: connecting with her students on a deeper level than math and language arts. Her favorite part of the job is "getting to develop relationships with my students and their families. I strongly believe that we are all on the same team and have the same goal – to do what is best for the child. Each child is unique and I thoroughly enjoy discovering what the key is to helping them reach their full potential in school."

And she hopes to be nowhere else for the rest of her career.

"My hope for the future is to continue teaching since it is a great source of joy to me," she says. "I plan to never stop learning something new each day!"

Colleen Hood resides in Adel with her husband, Kelley, who works as the Athletic Director for Roosevelt High School in Des Moines. The two have been married for 33 years and have one daughter, Kristen, who is married and lives in Las Vegas, Nevada. She and her husband have one grandchild, Judah, who is now 11 months old.