The University of Iowa

Ellie Herman

Ellie Herman, black and white photograph
After 26 years of service to the College of Education and its students, Ellie Herman, clinical professor and coordinator of field experiences for the Department of Teaching and Learning, is retiring.

Herman held many roles in the college and around campus. She coordinated student teaching and practicum placements, taught in the Elementary Education program, and was appointed by former UI president Sally Mason to be the faculty representative on the Board in Control of Athletics.

Throughout her career, Herman found the most satisfaction in the countless relationships she made with students and colleagues.

“We have such great students, I learn from them all the time,” Herman says. “They are idealistic, and I think you still need to be idealistic to be a teacher, because you really can make a difference.”

Throughout her work at the college, Herman used her 14 years of teaching and school supervision experience to facilitate success in her student’s future K-12 careers and create a program of excellence that set students up to succeed.

“We may be a big program, but we have small classes,” Herman says. “Faculty know our students, so when we’re doing placement for practicum or student teaching, we are trying to make the best matches between schools and personalities.”

Her former students agree.

“Ellie really set the foundation and building blocks for my experience in the College of Education,” says Tracey Wool, a former student. “All of the stories and experiences that she shared with her classes gave inspiration to students new to the program. It made us think, ‘I want to be able to do what she did,’ because we wanted to take what she had to offer, and implement it into our own teaching careers.”

Another former student, Coryn Van Beek admires Herman’s willingness to explore ideas with her students.

“She takes your ideas for what they are and makes you feel like they are important,” Van Beek says. “She obviously has much more experience than us, but it never felt like she was talking down to us.”

Herman always felt that preparedness was key when working in the field of education, and she ensured that her students were ready for their post-graduation classrooms by giving them the proper knowledge and materials to excel.

In all of her accomplishments at the college, Herman says the relationships she developed with her students, and the evaluation and support structures she built to prepare them for their professions, were the most significant.