Allison McDonald

Allison McDonald wants to become a teacher in an early elementary school classroom, or a middle school math teacher. When Allison isn’t studying, she enjoys watching Netflix, reading, doodling, doing puzzles, spending time with her friends and family, and spending time outside.

Get to know Allison

  • Major: Elementary education
  • Class: Senior
  • Hometown: Marion, Iowa (Linn County)
  • Career goal: Teacher in K-second grade classrooms, or middle school math teacher
  • Clubs/activities: ISU 4U Promise, George Washington Carver Scholarship Program, Preparing Tomorrow’s Teachers Learning Community, CHS ambassadors
  • Awards/honors: George Washington Carver full-tuition scholarship, dean’s list
  • Favorite place on campus: The Center for Technology in Learning and Teaching in Lagomarcino Hall
  • Most influential ISU mentor: Connie Hargrave
  • Favorite class: EDUC 377, The Teaching of Reading and Language Arts in the Primary Grades (K-3)
  • Why Iowa State: Felt at home on campus, good programs and opportunities

Allison McDonald prepares for various opportunities in teaching, aims to inspire students

Allison McDonald had a few career paths in mind growing up, teaching being one of them. As a senior in high school, she was planning to go into public relations, but then when she realized that path wasn’t right for her, she sat down and wrote down everything she wanted in her dream career.

It was that exercise that led her to the path she’s taking now. Teaching children was the career that checked off the most boxes for her.

“When you work with students, you get to see that ‘aha’ moment, and you get to build a relationship with them over a long span of time,” Allison said. “Those kids who really struggle with something and all of a sudden you create that explanation that clicks with them — that’s a really great thing.”

Allison hopes to become an early elementary school teacher or middle school math teacher. She loves working with little kids, and her own personal experiences have inspired her to want to work with middle school students as well.

“I understand that there’s that huge STEM dropoff for girls in middle school for math and science, and I fell into that [category],” Allison said. “Being able to be a female role model for those students at the middle school level would be really great.”

Allison has been preparing to teach either in an elementary or middle school. She has completed multiple practicums within both age ranges, and is involved in clubs that pertain to her major here at Iowa State University. She’s also held beneficial roles at the Des Moines Y Camp, where she’s worked with kids for many summers. In those positions, she was able to enhance the skills she will use as a teacher.

“[The camp] definitely helped me get creative and understand more about where kids are at socially versus academically, and how to factor that into the classroom,” Allison said.

This spring, Allison will be student teaching in either an elementary or middle school. She looks forward to making an impact on students in the future, and creating a safe space for children at school.

“[I look forward to] helping them feel more confident in who they are as people, helping them grow as learners, and providing them the tools to set them up for success later in life,” Allison said.

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