Rachel Zimmerman

Rachel goes after lifelong dream at Iowa State

Rachel Zimmerman has wanted to be a teacher her entire life.

“It’s something I always wanted to do – even when I was little,” she said. “My siblings and I would play make-believe school, so I knew that education was something I wanted to do and be a part of. At first, I thought I wanted to do music education, but when I went out and had some field experience, I realized that I really enjoyed working with the younger kids and focusing on education. That’s become my career goal.”

She was given the opportunity to put her career goal to the test in high school, while mentoring music teachers.

“In high school, I got to mentor with some of my teachers – specifically my choir teacher and 5th grade band teacher,” she said. “I think just getting to work with these students in general, I found that I really enjoyed teaching and I liked helping other students be successful.”

After looking at Simpson College and deciding the campus was too small, Rachel’s parents convinced her to at least visit Iowa State and see what the campus has to offer.

“I didn’t think that I was ever going to look at Iowa State, but my parents convinced me to at least go for a visit,” she said. “I think it was the coldest day in January when I actually had my visit. But at that point, I met some of my professors, and it just felt like the atmosphere was going to fit me perfectly and overall suited me well.”

After four years in the education program, Rachel confirms that she made the right choice coming to Iowa State.

“I absolutely know I made the right decision in choosing Iowa State,” she said. “The School of Education at Iowa State does a really good job of making sure the class sizes are smaller and balanced. Iowa State has really pushed having a more hands-on and interactive learning environment rather than teacher-centered learning.”

Rachel will begin her student teaching during the Fall 2017 semester and already knows what kind of teacher she hopes to be.

“I hope to bring a classroom environment where students gain a deeper understanding of their learning,” she said. “With my musical background, I’d really like to be one of those crazy teachers singing in the classroom. I think music is really important, so something that combines all of that would be ideal. If the learning atmosphere is a lot of fun for students, I think that’s what I would hope to bring to the classroom.”