Q&A: NC State education major Christine Kim
Posted January 31
Major/minor: Elementary Education Major, International Studies Minor
What made you want to become a teacher?
The children. I have always loved children and throughout my academic career here at NC State, I have grown to have such a huge passion for education. We hear this time and time again, but children really are the leaders of tomorrow and it is my honor and joy to have the opportunity to impact those children and raise up our leaders.
Why did you choose N.C. State?
My senior year of high school I visited campus for open house and instantly fell in love. I loved how welcoming everyone was and as I learned more about State's values and mission, I knew this was the place for me.
What is your dream teaching job?
I would love to teach long term in a developing country or in a high risk community in the United States.
After graduation, do you plan to teach in North Carolina or another state?
As of now, I do not have any set plans. Ideally, I would love to move abroad to a developing country to teach; however, I am also looking into high risk areas in NC and across the country that I could serve at.
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 the level of need. I would like to serve where I am most needed, with children that desperately need good teachers and role models.
Do you have any concerns about becoming a teacher?
My only concern is not being good enough for these students. I will be responsible for around 15-20 students every year, at a point in their lives where education is so critical and what they learn and experience will impact the rest of their lives. That is so much pressure. Teachers have such a strong influence on their students. I would hate to be the reason that a child misses an opportunity to fall in love with learning. Teaching is not a 8-5 job. We get invested and think about our students 24/7. I do not want to have regrets at the end of a school year wishing I could have done more.
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?
Honestly, especially in North Carolina, it is to raise the teacher salary. Teachers in general do not come into this profession because of the money. We do it because we love our students and love making an impact and it is our passion. However, we also have our own families and it is hard to continue our passions when we cannot make ends meet due to financial strain. We do not come in for the money, but many leave because of it.