“Teaching is really fun, and if it’s something you want to do, you’re going to get what you want out of it.”

Shawna Zielinski knew from early in her time at the U that she wanted to major in Spanish. But it wasn’t until she got a tutoring job through the University YMCA that she started to think about teaching. She realized how much she enjoyed working with children and seeing them develop their strengths. Zielinksi is co-president of the U’s Education Minnesota Student Chapter and teaches introductory before-school Spanish classes to elementary students. “I’ve also done a lot of community work volunteering with Spanish speaking adults to help teach computer skills, and I volunteer in ESL classrooms at Roosevelt High School.” says Shawna.

Read more about Shawna’s advice to future teachers.



It really goes back to what you think is going to be fulfilling in a career. I thought I didn’t want to teach because of the pay, hours, etc. but when it comes down to it, if it’s something you want to do, that’s going to make you motivated. Reflect on that before you judge a career path for any other reasons."


I’m a low-income, first-generation college student and I’m here on financial aid and scholarships. I’ve received a lot of support and came to the U and just really flourished. I would like to help make that happen for someone else.”

Shawna is currently a Ph.D. student in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese and is teaching Spanish language courses for undergraduate students at the University of Minnesota.