Kansas State University


College of Education

In the Classroom: Danielle Ziegler

Danielle Ziegler, fifth grade teacher for USD 475

KSU graduate Danielle Ziegler teaches fifth grade at Sheridan Elementary School for USD 475 in Junction City.

She says the best thing about her new career is working with the kids, and her relationship with those kids is incredibly important.

“No two kids are the same and it is a new adventure every day,” she says. “The relationships you make to have a positive impact on their day is so rewarding. I also love being able to share my passion of the different subjects with them. I love the challenge of trying to find new ways to make new material interesting for them to learn about.”

Danielle says her school district has been extremely supportive, especially by providing “great professional development.

“I feel like I have what I need to be successful, and if I do not feel like I am being successful, my district is great about finding the solution or answer to any question that I have,” she says. “Geary County is also really great about being on the forefront of education. Implementing the latest technologies and research-driven instruction. One example of this would be STEM. Our district has STEM coaches who come into our classroom and help co-teach STEM lessons. These are fun lessons with materials that are too scarce to have in every class. My kids really enjoyed building and learning to program their EV3 robots. Their robots then had to be programed to complete certain tasks within a maze. They were so into it!”

She also credits KSU with getting her ready for the classroom.

“I think KSU was really good about teaching me how to create a unit and lesson,” she says. “They make sure their students know where to find the standards and how to interpret them. They help teach you how to make your lesson and the standards connect through the objectives that you teach.

“K-State makes sure their students know where to go to find what they need to be successful out in the field,” she continued. “However, they also make sure you are thinking through your lessons fully. That has been my biggest help with my first year of teaching.”

As she nears the end of the school year, she encourages future teachers to get out into the classrooms and make the most of the field experiences KSU’s College of Education offers.

“The more experience you have with kids, finding your teaching style, and building those relationships, the more prepared you will be for your own classroom,” she says. “All of those things work together to create your classroom environment, and that is one of the most important things when preparing young minds.”