Q&A: NC State education major Whitney Illing

Posted 4:30 a.m. Tuesday

NC State education major Whitney Illing

Whitney Illing

Hometown: Mocksville, N.C.

Major/minor: Elementary Education

What made you want to become a teacher?
I have always dreamed of being a teacher, both of my parents are teachers, and my relationship with my teachers had an impact on the person I am today. I hope to make the relationship with my students that my parents have made with theirs and that my teachers have made with me. I want to be there for children and make a difference in their lives.

Why did you choose N.C. State?
I chose NC State for multiple reasons, the first being; I love how big it is. There is always something to do and people to join. The second, NC State is an academically challenging school that I will be proud to have a degree from. The third reason is because of the sports and fan base. My dad is a football coach so sports has been a huge part of my life and I wanted to keep that with me.

What is your dream teaching job?
My dream-teaching job would be in a kindergarten class at a school with supportive administration, teachers, and parents. I hope to have an assistant teacher and available technology.

After graduation, do you plan to teach in North Carolina or another state?
I plan to teach in North Carolina or South Carolina. My family now lives in South Carolina and it would be nice to be close to them.

When deciding where you’d like to teach, what factor is most important to you and why? (salary, location, etc.)
The most important factor for me would be where I feel I fit in best. Salary and location would definitely play a part in my decision but I think ultimately I would choose where I would be happy.

Do you have any concerns about becoming a teacher?
With the current situation within education, it made me rethink wanting to be a teacher. Teachers are getting paid less and teacher assistants are losing their jobs… this puts more work on the teacher for less money.

Enrollment in teacher education programs in the UNC System declined 30 percent from 2010 to 2015. What do you think can be done to encourage more people to become teachers?
I think promoting teachers more positively would help people want to be teachers. With the current situation in the state, talk revolving around teachers and schools is all negative. The stories are budget cuts, teachers getting paid less, and teacher assistants losing jobs. It would be nice to see teachers publicized as role models and helping students achieve goals.


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