Math education was always in my plans

By Katie Hirv ’22

Growing up, many children have ideas and dreams of what they want to be when they are older. For Bridget Schaufenbuel ’21, being a teacher was always in her future plans. 

“I have always wanted to be a teacher. I love to see the growth and improvement even throughout a week of teaching. I picked up the math aspect because I really like the usefulness that I can see for it in the real world. Math has always been my favorite subject, and I want to be the teacher that can build great positive relationships with students while I am teaching them the importance of the subject,” Schaufenbuel said.  “Math can be tied into so many subjects, so I will have the ability to show the students how it’s used in places where we don’t even consciously think about it.”

Schaufenbuel’s love of math has also carried over into her co-curricular activities. On campus, she is an active member of the Wartburg Scholars Program, works as a Math Lab consultant, and participates in a variety of other STEM-related activities.

“My favorite Wartburg memory is working in the Math Lab, making sure the students knew where to go if they needed any help for math. I found some great friends in the Math Lab between the other students working there and the students coming to learn for their college math courses,” Schaufenbuel said.

During her time at Wartburg, Schaufenbuel’s student-teaching experiences have prepared her for a career in the classroom.

Bridget Schaufenbuel

“I student taught at two different schools. My first placement was at Sumner-Fredericksburg in my old high school, so that was an interesting experience. I think it was advantageous because I already had a relationship with the teacher, so I was able to jump right into the classroom,” Schaufenbuel said. “Then my second placement was at New Hampton Middle School in a sixth-grade math classroom. This was a huge change to the high school, but I loved getting to know the kids and interacting with them.”

As Schaufenbuel looks ahead to her plans post-graduation, her experiences and education from Wartburg have led her to a teaching position at Clayton Ridge High School located in Guttenberg.

“I plan to move over to the area over this summer and prepare for my first year of teaching with the school while also teaching swimming lessons and doing STEM camp counseling,” Schaufenbuel said. “In five years, I hope to have an established position in a math classroom and have some strong connections built within the school and maybe even in other schools through conferences and other networking opportunities.”

Reflecting on her time in and out of the classrooms at Wartburg and throughout the Cedar Valley community, Schaufenbuel made valuable connections with her peers and the faculty and staff at Wartburg.

“My experience was worth it because it opened me up to many things that I never experienced when growing up in my small town. I think having both perspectives will be a great asset when I enter my teaching career. In addition, I am so grateful for the connections I have made, and I feel I will be able to reach out to these peers and professors for years to come,” said Schaufenbuel.