Nov. 17, 2015
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Editor’s Note: The following first appeared in the University of Iowa’s Hawk Talk Daily, an e-newsletter that offers a daily look at the Iowa Hawkeyes, delivered free each morning to thousands of fans of the Hawkeyes worldwide. To receive daily news from the Iowa Hawkeyes, sign up HERE.
By ELLIE MINOR
IOWA CITY, Iowa — University of Iowa senior cross country runner Michael Hart is on his way to being the coach and teacher he always dreamt of having when he was in school.
“I grew up comparing myself to my teachers,” says Hart, an elementary education major. “I thought about what I would do differently. I thought, ‘If I was a teacher, I would do this, and this, and this.'”
In his sophomore year, Hart found himself at a crossroads when choosing his major and ultimately decided teaching and coaching were what he found the most fulfilling.
“Education just made sense,” Hart says. “I thought it would be a fun job, and I knew I would enjoy working with the kids.”
Hart plans to use his degree to become a middle school math or science teacher and track coach. He believes the UI has given him an outstanding education, and he expects a smooth transition into the professional world.
“I’m basically switching the roles from balancing my time as a student and an athlete to that as a teacher and coach,” he said. “The College of Education has provided a good preparation.”
Hart feels the time management, leadership, and teamwork he has experienced should all help to guide him along the way. He is also actively studying to become a successful coach.
“I keep a training log with notes of activities I’ve done at Iowa,” he says. “It includes workouts I’ve completed at certain times of the year or injuries I’ve had and what they’ve felt like. At my smaller high school, the coach was also the trainer so I want to be prepared to help my athletes.”
Hart’s practicum teacher, Brandi Roesler of Mark Twain Elementary, agrees.
“Successful teachers and coaches set high expectations and care about their students and athletes,” Roesler says. “They show respect to get respect and motivate by being a role model.”
Roesler believes Hart possesses these attributes as he uses patience when supporting students to learn new skills, and has built good rapport with the students through his positive attitude.
With all of Hart’s experiences during his time at Iowa, the most important aspect he has found in athletics has been the comradery within his team. He hopes to build that same comradery in his future classroom.
“You build that sense of family by being in organized sports,” he says. “That’s something you want within a team and within a classroom.”