Zane Sittig

Zane Sittig

Zane Sittig
Major/Job Title:
7-12 Social Studies teacher at Wapsie Valley Jr./Sr. High School, Cedar Falls

Zane Sittig

BA Social Sciences, Teaching-All Social Sciences, 2015
MS Sport & Exercise Psychology from Lock Haven University, PA.

Why did you choose to attend UNI? What factors influenced your reason for studying your major?
I chose UNI because of its overall outstanding reputation, but especially in preparing teachers. Once I decided that I wanted to be a teacher I knew it was UNI. When it came to deciding on my major I just followed my passions and that led me to the Social Sciences. I feel that they are incredibly important for our society, so not only did I get to learn about my own interests, but I was also going to get to teach about them as well. 

What do you do in your current position? What do you enjoy about it?
In my current  position at Wapsie I do a little bit of everything. Being a small school I teach all of the jr. high students. I get every single 7th and 8th grader in my classroom throughout the day teaching about contemporary global issues, and early American history. I do get a change of pace though, I also teach several electives at the upper level with high school seniors. I like it because I have a lot of variety, and am not stuck doing the same class over and over for an entire day. The administration is great and very supportive too. I recently implemented a high school level Sport and Exercise Psychology introductory class. Being able to take what I learned with my Master’s degree and now teach about it is awesome, so the support from my administration is a great positive as well. Overall, I generally enjoy the students and staff. I believe we have some of the best students and teachers around, and it makes showing up to school every day a blast. 

How did your major help prepare you for your current role? What skills are you still using today?
My major helped me because I was able to study and learn in all of the different areas of the social and behavioral sciences. This has put them in an incredible position to be able to help students. I teach a lot of different subjects so being exposed to different disciplines at UNI definitely helps and sets me up for success in my career. 

What is a memorable part of your studies or participation within your major?
There were a few memorable parts for me. I really enjoyed some of the guest speakers that were brought in. I thought those were always great learning experiences. Some of my favorite classes were because of the professors. Dr. Connors and Dr. Baskerville are a couple that I particularly enjoyed. They really made classes interesting but also pushed me to work hard. They set the expectations and the bar was high, and that still helps to this day. I also owe a lot to my advisor Chad Christopher. He did a great job helping me keep my ducks in a row, and then his Methods class might be the best thing that prepared me for teaching. 

What advice would you give to students currently interested in the same major and/or going into your career field?
If you have an interest in the social and behavioral sciences, definitely follow it. It is such a large field and they all impact our lives on a daily basis. To me these are the coolest things that help to make our world work. Then getting to work and helping kids is an experience unlike any other. In the education classes we often get asked why we want to be a teacher, and I respond “to change lives.” I really do believe that getting to work with young people day in and day out, and talk about what is going on in our world is fantastic. There is nothing else that I could see myself doing.