Headshot of alumna Brianna Hacker

March 10, 2020

It’s our favorite day of the week, “Where Do You Work?” Wednesday! This week meet alumna Brianna Hacker (BA ’06 in Elementary Education with Social Studies and Reading Endorsements).

Hacker is a reading coach at San Carlos Park Elementary in Fort Meyers, Florida, where she has been teaching since 2006. Originally from Davenport, Iowa, Hacker loves to see when her students understand they are making progress in their learning.

“One of the best compliments I have ever received from a student was, ‘You make this so easy! All of the other teachers made it so hard, and I get it now,’” Hacker says.

In her position as a reading coach Hacker oversees whole grade levels.

“As a reading coach, I help a whole grade level of students be successful, not just my own classroom,” Hacker says. “Another fantastic part of my job is working with amazing educators that I learn from every day. We collaborate, plan, teach, and do everything we can all day long to help our students be the best version of themselves.”

Hacker is currently pursuing her Master of Arts degree in school counseling at Florida Gulf Coast University and works as a school counseling intern as well.

Hacker says her professors and advisors at the University of Iowa College of Education were extremely helpful in preparing her to become a teacher.

“I feel as though this program did a great job keeping up to date with most current educational research while also stressing the effectiveness of fundamental values in education,” Hacker says. “They sent me out into the teaching world with the knowledge and skills I needed to start my career as an educator. The program and coursework were rigorous, yet fun. I am forever proud to be a Hawkeye.”

Hacker says that even though teaching in 2020 is not always easy, it is worth it.

“I go home every day feeling as though I made a difference in a child’s life. Some days are easier than others, and I would be lying if I said every day is perfect,” Hacker says.

Her advice to future teachers is to remember that you are going to make mistakes but that you will learn from those mistakes.

“You will come back the next day, into a class full of children with open arms, who probably don’t even realize that you didn’t deliver that lesson as perfectly as you had planned,” Hacker says. “They’re going to remember you for being there for them. Day in and day out. You are their constant, their idol, their superhero. How cool is that?”

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 educationatiowa@uiowa.edu.