UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN River Falls
What made you choose UW-River Falls?
For starters, it has a terrific teaching program. I realized that I wanted to be a math teacher during my junior year of high school. I often helped my friends with their math homework, and soon I realized that I cared more about their grades than my own. UWRF was also the perfect distance from my home in Shoreview, Minn., and it let me be a division three cross-country runner.
Do you have a favorite moment from college?
In April 2011, I received the outstanding student award for the secondary education program. It was presented to me by my professor, Tim Holleran. It was a true honor to be recognized by someone I looked up to.
What did you like best about your program?
Looking back on my experience in the Teacher Education Department, I liked how they taught us how to rely on our fellow students in the same way a teacher relies on their colleagues. The structure of the program really emphasizes collaboration with others. It's unique because of the vast amount of time we got to spend in a real classroom before our student teaching assignments began. The math block classes were also another huge help, and they made me very appealing to my current principal.
In what ways did your UWRF education help you to find a job?
I used the online resources and interview practicing services to help me get my current job. The Smartboard class I took as an elective helped me to gain an edge over my peers while applying. I use my Teacher Education training every day in my 7th grade math classroom. It's taught me how to create unique and engaging ways to connect my students. Also, I was taught important skills in my coaching minor that have helped me to become a coach in three sports — track and field, hockey and cross-country.
What advice do you have for new students?
You go to college to experience new things and gain knowledge, but you end up learning the most about yourself. Don't skip a step. Decide what to be, then go be it.