SAUK RAPIDS - Colleen Christenson has been teaching in the Sauk Rapids-Rice district since 1971.

A lot has changed over the years to say the least.

"I remember when we teachers got our first computers, I was sitting at my computer and the teacher above me on the second floor sent me a message and it was so exciting! We did not have computers, copy machines and iPads back then when I started."

Christenson is a 5th grade teacher at Mississippi Heights Elementary School and is retiring this spring. She says she decided to be a teacher at an early age and that it's one of the most rewarding jobs out there.

"It's the daily kindness of students that's the most heartwarming. I see examples of it every day."

Christenson teaches math and says it can be a difficult for students. She says the most rewarding part of the job is when students work hard and gain an understanding of the topic.

"It's that lightbulb going on-when they understand that they get it. It has just been a joy for me to teach all of these classrooms of students, to see so many students learn, to meet so many supportive parents and to really work with the wonderful staff that we have."

Christenson plans to travel and try new things once she's retired but has no plans to give up teaching. She will continue to teach piano and plans to volunteer in elementary classrooms.

Christenson emphasizes that life without geometry would be pointless. (Dan DeBaun, WJON)