UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN River Falls
How did you choose your career?
It would be easier to say my career chose me. Deep down, I've always known that my passion is in teaching and coaching. My "a-ha" moment came during the second semester of my freshman year as I was volunteering at Baldwin Area Medical Center for their family wellness night. This wasn't my first time working or volunteering for an event for kids, but, for some reason, this event gave me that final push to declaring my major.
What do you love about it?
I love that each day I wake up excited about my job. Being a teacher is one of the most unique careers because we not only have to tackle the challenges of adulthood, we also have to make the world make sense to a ten-year-old. I wouldn't trade anything for the moments when a student grasps a challenging concept for the first time. I love teaching because every day my students show me how much we all have to learn.
Tell us about your experience with UWRF's elementary education program.
The best part about our program was the amount of time we were able to spend in the field. I was teaching public schools for most of my senior year. I worked one-on-one with students and teachers to better myself as an educator, and I was able to provide students with support and guidance. I participated in 4th, 5th and two 1st grade classrooms, as well as a 7th and 8th grade emotionally and behaviorally disturbed classroom, and a K-5th physical education classroom. In addition, I worked at the University Preschool. My program provided the experiences I needed in order to understand what it's like to work as a teacher.
What was your favorite hang out in River Falls?
My favorite place to hang out in River Falls was probably the $1 Burger Nights at Coach's Bar and Grill. It was always hopping, and it was a fun place to be before and after I turned 21. On campus, I loved hanging out in the Wyman Education Building. It may sound nerdy, but Wyman was the best place to work because it had the nicest lab and nobody went there except education majors. You could always find a quiet place to work, or a place to just goof around while you pretend to work.
Do you have a professor or other faculty member who inspired you?
If I had to name one professor to recommend, it would be Brenda Wright. She was the most passionate and caring professor I've ever had, and she made it her personal mission to help me succeed as a teacher. She is a great professor, colleague and friend.