Weather Forecast


Casey's home in the classroom

Casey Reierson, first year teacher at J.W. Smith Elementary, reads a book with first-grade student Al Toward. (Maggi Stivers | Bemidji Pioneer)

BEMIDJI -- Casey Reierson just spent 16 years in school, but he has no plans of leaving the classroom any time soon.

Reierson graduated from BSU in May 2013 and has spent the last year working as a Title I teacher at J.W. Smith Elementary. Rather than having his own classroom, Reierson works with a smaller group of students, "kids who need a little bit of extra help."

"Seeing the kids grow throughout the year, especially in kindergarten and first-grade, you see so much growth," Reierson said of his favorite aspect of his first year on the job.

"My mom was a teacher, so that was kind of the reason I wanted to go into it," he said. "I tried, liked it and stuck with it."

At one point during his four years of college, Reierson admitted he considered working for his family's construction company full time, but realized "it's always smart to get a degree," he said, adding he still plans to work for the family business in summer.

Reierson has benefited from the support and relationships with his co-workers in his first year, he said. "If you see something in the classroom and have a question about it, then you can ask someone, they have all seen it," he said. Reierson also explained that college courses taught him much of the basics but "the experience is what teaches you."

The use of technology is one area where Reierson has experience and was able to bring that to the classroom . "A lot of the technology, is one thing that you learned at BSU, that hasn't been around long," he said.

Incorporating the right amount of technology in the classroom is something Reierson has been challenged with. "All the kids, when they go home, they have all this stuff, so you can't overdo it with technology because they will get bored of it here" he said. "If you have a little here and there, it helps to keep them motivated."

Reierson mentioned how the use of a smartboard in the classroom has allowed him to incorporate technology into a group setting. "That's pretty cool because the kids are still interactive with it but they are still sitting at their desk looking at the same screen, so it's more action compared to a just a mouse and keyboard," he said.

Reierson hopes to one day to continue his education to receive his master's degree -- "I think the best teaching job would be a professor at BSU."

He's on his way.

Maggi Stivers

Maggi Stivers is a Multi-Media Journalist at the Bemidji Pioneer. She covers art and entertainment in the Bemidji area. She is a 2013 Bemidji State graduate majoring in mass communications with a minor in sociology. Contact her at (218) 333-9790 or

(218) 333-9790