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New math teacher hopes to flip things around, support students outside the classroom

Anne Borgmann’s father and brother are both CPAs, so when she took on accounting as her major in college it was like she was joining the family business. But sitting in accounting class one day, Borgmann realized it wasn’t for her. She didn’t have that passion there. She thought about what she liked to do and she loved working with the kids she coached and it just came to her: she wanted to be a teacher.

“It just kind of fit like a glove and math has always been something I’ve been good at,” she said, “so I just left my accounting class one day. I went and I changed my major and never turned back.”

Borgmann is the new math teacher at Hastings High School, where she teaches advanced algebra and honors advanced algebra. She graduated with a degree in math education from the University of Wisconsin–River Falls. After teaching in her hometown of Sauk Centre for a little over a year, she decided to find another bigger city with a small town feel. Hastings met that requirement, she said.

One of her goals for this year is to start implementing technology into her classroom. Borgmann said she hopes to work a flipped classroom model into a couple of her lessons. The flipped classroom is when the students watch a video of her going through the lesson at home and then they work through their homework in the classroom.

One of the reasons she thinks that model is great for a math classroom is because of what she calls “math class-itis,” when a student walks out of the classroom and forgets everything they just learned.

“That’s why I like the flipped classroom model because I am here to guide them through (the homework) and then they would be able to ask questions about the lesson,” Borgmann said.

One of her favorite things about teaching is just checking in with her students. But her absolute favorites moments are those times her students say, “Aha.” After she goes through a problem and they say they don’t quite follow it, she will take them through it step by step. Finally, the light bulb goes on and she said they get it.

Outside of the classroom, Borgmann has been coaching the ninth grade volleyball team. She said it has been a big time commitment, but she loves being able to build those relationships with the students through coaching. In fact, the other day Borgmann said one of the girls on the team told her, “I wasn’t quite sure about you to start off with because you didn’t say a whole lot and you kind of just made us run, but now I really like you.”

“You just build those relationships over time and they’re such a fun group and they’re hard working and like to have fun, but when it’s time to get down to things they work,” Borgmann said.

With the volleyball season now coming to an end, Borgmann said she will be able to focus on one of her other goals for this year. She wants to try to get to as many school events as possible whether that is a football game, basketball game, school play, concert or show choir performance.

“I’m proud of their accomplishments in the classroom, now I want to see what they can do outside of the classroom, what are (their) other passions, what else do (they) love to do and kind of see them shine,” Borgmann said.

Michelle Wirth

Michelle Wirth graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire in 2013 with a degree in journalism and web design. She worked as a web content editor for a trade association before coming to the Hastings Star Gazette in 2016.

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