As a fourth grader in Aulander, North Carolina, Autumn Ginn had no idea that her teacher, Mrs. Neal, would influence her decision to enter the teaching profession. "Mrs. Neal had awesome classroom management and was so engaging in her classroom instruction," shared Ginn, a senior elementary education student. When contemplating her own future classroom, Ginn's plans emulate her former fourth grade teacher. "I've always enjoyed working with children. In elementary school, children are at a sweet age where they want to please their teacher. They are moldable and I hope to have a positive influence on their lives," said Ginn.
One facet of the College of Education's mission in the preparation of professional educators, and Ginn is a shining example of how this mission is being achieved. "I have loved all of my practicum courses," she said. "but SCIE 3336 [Science and Methods in Informal Settings and Field Experiences] with Dr. Tammy Lee has been my favorite." Through this class, Ginn learned how to develop lesson plans and teach science in the class all while having fun. "Dr. Lee got us engaged in the class and this is how I want to teach my future students," she said.
Not only does the realization that she will be a licensed teacher in a few semesters excite Ginn, but it also brings a little bit of nervousness. "The [College of Education] faculty can't prepare you for everything," she shared. "There are real-life situations I will be faced with as a teacher that aren't covered in my classes. I'll have to learn through my experiences." This semester Ginn will have plenty of opportunities to learn through her experiences as she completes her senior one internship in a fourth grade class at Chicod.
With graduation just around the corner, Ginn looks back at her experiences in the College of Education with gratitude and fondness. She also has advice for incoming teacher education students: "take advantage of all the resources at ECU. Do your homework, apply yourself. The people who skip class and don't do the homework are always the ones who struggle," she shared. Now you're sounding like a teacher, Autumn, and the College of Education couldn't be prouder!