John Hubbard, Elementary Education with a minor in Special Education – Mild/Moderate K-8 Educational Technology

Why did you choose UNI's Teacher Education program?  I chose UNI because of the great reputation that the Teacher Education program has and because it is close to my home town. It seemed like the most logical choice for me.  Growing up I always knew what I wanted to do. I wanted to teach and coach in Iowa.  My mom is a product of the UNI Teacher Ed program as well so I also had an extra influence to become a Panther.

What current/prior experiences do you have with special education?  Before coming to UNI, my experience with special needs students was very limited.  But since being here I have been exposed to working with students of all learning levels.  It has been an experience I will always have and one that I would not trade for anything.  I have also been able to observe and teach students in the Waterloo Community School District. Through these experiences I have been able to help students that may not always get the extra attention they deserve and the one-on-one teaching that they need to be successful.

What is a fond memory of your time spent at UNI?  One of my most fond memories while being at UNI comes from my Phase I experience in the Instructional Strategist I Special Education program.  I was able to plan and design lessons specifically to the needs of my student that would help him reach goals that we had set for him together. When we first started the goal we set almost seemed impossible but with daily lessons he was able to overcome the obstacles and reached his goal. The look on my students' face said everything. For once in his life he had accomplished something that he had thought for so long he would not be able to ever do. To me that is what teaching is all about! 

Another fond memory is being on the UNI football team and still being able to complete my teaching degree. One other memory that I have while being at UNI is when the UNI men’s basketball team defeated number 1 ranked Kansas in the NCAA tournament! This is something that I will never forget!

Any tips for prospective/current students that are working toward similar degrees?  The tip that I have for any education major is that it’s important to get to know your teachers. The teachers in the Teacher Education program are so willing to help you; you just need to ask them for help! The teachers here will go the extra mile for you to help make you a better teacher.

What are your career plans? Where would you like your UNI education to take you?  After college I hope to stay in the Cedar Valley where I can teach, coach, and stay close to my family.  But if a job takes me elsewhere, that is where I will go. One day I would also like to pursue my masters at UNI and consider being a principal.