Brianna Stolte, Elementary Education and Spanish

Brianna StolteWhen did you know you wanted to be a teacher?

I think I was called to the vocation of teaching before I could even spell my name. I always have loved to learn, and contrary to most students, the thought of going back to elementary school excites me. My decision to enter into the field of education was inspired by the many amazing teachers who challenged and cared for me.

We love that you’re majoring in Spanish and elementary education. Can you tell us about why you chose to double major?

I became fascinated with the Spanish language in middle school. In college, through advanced Spanish classes and studying abroad, I better understood the challenges my future emergent bilingual students will face as they acquire another language. I specifically chose the Middle Childhood—Early Adolescence-English as a Second Language (MCEA-ESL) program to learn how I could use my Spanish to support students from linguistically and culturally diverse backgrounds.

What are your plans for the future?

After graduating, I plan to return to my hometown in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, to substitute teach. Then I will be getting married in April 2021. Because my future husband is in the U.S. Navy, my life is an open book. I cannot wait to see how I am able to apply the skills I have learned in the education program in whatever opportunity comes my way. I specifically hope to attend graduate school one day.

What was your most meaningful experience as a UW–Madison student?

I truly cherished my student teaching experience at Huegel Elementary (in Madison). I was able to develop my own teaching identity and find pure joy learning alongside my second graders. Additionally, my time spent with my MCEA-ESL cohort is unforgettable. It was wonderful to be a part of a family of teachers who supported each other through it all. This semester has not been the same without them.

How will you celebrate your graduation?

Getting a well-earned photo on Abe’s lap! I hope to eventually celebrate with my friends and family and I long for the day when I can proudly sing “Varsity” in Camp Randall once again.

You’re a UW–Madison expert now, so we must ask: which is the best Babcock ice cream flavor?

Chocolate peanut butter, but chocolate turtle is a very close second.

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