Wednesday, February 10, 2021

By: Claire Quigle

Guess what day it is…? “Where Do You Work?” Wednesday! This week meet alumna Susanna Ziemer (MAT ‘18 Science Education).

Originally from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Ziemer is now a high school teacher at Iowa City West High School. She works as an earth and space science and biology teacher and also works as the science olympiad and robotics coach.

During her time at the University of Iowa College of Education, Ziemer learned important lessons she uses daily as a teacher.

“So many people were patient with me and showed me that they were invested in my success even when I didn't feel I'd earned it. That kind of passion for students is something I strive to bring to my classroom every day.”

Ziemer is grateful for all of the faculty members that she got to learn from during her time at the university.

“Nancy Langguth forever altered my perspective in classroom management and gave me meaningful strategies I use to this day,” Ziemer says. “Ted Neal championed me as my advisor, gave me research opportunities, and pushed me to make every lesson meaningful and applicable to my students. Mark McDermott helped me meaningfully and creatively design my course instruction.”

As a teacher, Ziemer loves the opportunity she gets to build relationships with her students.

“They amaze me with their resiliency, humor, creativity, and authenticity,” Ziemer says. “This is true all the time but more so this year when they have new challenges up against them.”

In addition to her students, Ziemer appreciates the help she receives from other teachers, who are willing to help her improve as an educator.

“I also really love my fellow teachers at West,” Ziemer says. “I would not have grown in the ways I've been able to as a teacher without collaborating and seeking their wisdom. I rely so much on my learning community.”

Want to be the next “Where Do You Work Wednesday” or nominate someone? Message us on Facebook, tag us with #HawkeyeTeachers, or email us at