Q&A: NC State education major Caleigh Daigle
Posted February 10
Hometown: Conway, N.H.
Major/minor: Elementary Education with a STEM focus and an ESL (English as a Second Language) add-on certificate
What made you want to become a teacher?
I have always wanted to be a teacher because I love working with kids. It’s so special to be able to teach them not only academic content, but social skills as well. My goal as a teacher is to encourage and motivate my students to aim high and let them know their goals are attainable. I feel so lucky knowing I have the opportunity to make a difference in my students’ lives.
Why did you choose N.C. State?
I chose NC State because of their unique elementary education program. The program has a focus in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) which I have not seen in another elementary education program before. NC State is a challenging school and they graduate some of the best teachers in the area. It was no question that this would be a great school to get my degree in education at.
What is your dream teaching job?
My dream teaching job is just teaching in any aspect. I particularly like teaching grades K-2, but I would be open for any age in elementary school. I would also be open to teaching at any type of school, public, private, etc. because I feel that they would all have something interesting and different about them.
After graduation, do you plan to teach in North Carolina or another state?
After I graduate I am not sure where I want to teach. I am from New Hampshire, so I might go back home, but I also enjoy being down in North Carolina. I think NC State is helping us gain a lot of connections in Wake County, which might have a factor on where I plan to teach.
When deciding where you’d like to teach, what factor is most important to you and why? (salary, location, etc.)
The most important factor to me is probably how I feel in the school community. I want to have the independence to teach how I want to teach, but have that support there if I need it. If the school feels welcoming and supportive then I think it makes the whole teaching experience a lot more enjoyable.
Do you have any concerns about becoming a teacher?
One of the concerns I have about becoming a teacher is trying to manage it all. Teachers’ jobs are not just 9am-3pm, and not just to teach the children information that matches the standards, but they wear so many hats and devote their lives to their students. It seems like it will be difficult to balance all of the roles that come with being a teacher, and making sure the students are always coming first when you are being pulled in a million directions.
Enrollment in teacher education programs in the UNC System has declined 30 percent since 2010. What do you think can be done to encourage more people to become teachers?
I think to encourage more people to become teachers we need to recruit great future teachers as well as show off the already great teachers we have. It’s important to highlight programs that are graduating the best teachers in the area, and getting their perspective on teaching. We all want to teach for similar, but different reasons, and I think it’s important to get everyone’s opinion on the topic.