Middle school. A period of time in children's lives where many struggle with the transition from childhood to young adulthood. Many will also tell you that middle school is an area that struggles to attract new teachers. However, this is the exact age group that Jessica Rodriguez can't wait to work with. Rodriguez, a junior majoring in Middle Grades Education, is looking forward to teaching this unique group and is undaunted by their emotional and social needs or cognitive capabilities. "I like working with children in middle school because it is a tricky age," she says. "They have to deal with so much and as a middle school teacher I can help them along the way and really prepare them for early adulthood."
Originally from Union Beach, New Jersey, Rodriguez transferred to East Carolina University from Brookdale Community College in her home state. While at Brookdale, Rodriguez took an educational psychology course that she cites as being her favorite college course. "In this course I was able to study how people learn as well as the development stages children go through in the learning process," she shares. "The course was so interesting and really helped me fine tune how I develop lesson plans."