Matthew Switzer

Gold Star Award Winner Matthew SwitzerMatthew Switzer

Union Middle School

City/School System
Union Community Schools

Subjects and Grade Level
6th Grade Language Arts and 8th Grade Algebra
MAE School Administration University of Northern Iowa, BA Philosophy University of Oregon, BA Elementary Education Northwest Christian University

How many years teaching?
10 years

Playing with my beautiful children, reading, writing, guitar, coaching, and going on dates with my wonderful wife.

Family members
Jessica (spouse), Cameron (son), Claire (daughter) and Cadia (daughter)

Professional involvement
Professional Educators of Iowa, writer of the educational philosophy blog Almost There

What do you like most about teaching?
I have been blessed to be surrounded by incredibly loving students, parents, faculty, and family that continue to offer support and freedom in my teaching endeavors. I love that I get to see and interact with these fascinating people every day.

What do you find most challenging about teaching?
The most challenging aspect of teaching is finding the time to make my desire of becoming a better teacher and to challenge my students a reality each and every day.

Best tip for new teachers?
Erase the word “can’t” from your vocabulary and put yourself in a position to learn from your students.

Best tip for career teachers?
There is power in knowing there will always be a student who is forever thankful you are at their school.

Favorite piece of advice for students?
There may be a day when you will be expected to do something heroic; be confident and take action in doing what is right, even if it is not popular.

What does being a Gold Star Teacher mean to you?
I am honored and humbled to receive the Gold Star, and thankful for all the people that have made this special occasion possible. I feel especially blessed to be surrounded and supported by such amazing students, parents, administrators and faculty that allow me to take risks, fail and learn in my journey as a teacher. This award is a reflection of those “Gold Star” people and their impact in my life. Thank you!