Our latest installment in our “Tomorrow’s Learning Leaders” series introduces Julianne Britt, a soon-to-be middle school teacher. Britt felt the pull of the Pack early on, thanks to a teacher who was also an NC State graduate.
Britt will receive her bachelor’s degree in middle grades science education, but she’s taking more than a degree with her when she leaves NC State. We sat down with Britt to talk about the outstanding education she received from the College of Education, as well as the friends and memories she’s made along the way.
Why did you choose to come to NC State? When did you begin your studies?
I chose to come here to study science education because to one of my biggest role models, my high school science teacher, who graduated from NC State. I started in the fall of 2012, and immediately began my journey with the College of Education.
What is the greatest challenge you had to overcome during your time here?
Change is a very difficult thing to accept, and coming to college is a huge change for anyone to go through. Leaving the friends you have had for the last 18 years, not getting to see your family everyday, living in a different city or state, and having to start branching out on your own is a lot to process while beginning your college career. It took me a few weeks to acclimate to all of the changes, but once I settled in, I knew I made the right decision!
What has been your best NC State memory?
My favorite memory was made during my freshman orientation. Through all of the awkwardness of gathering several hundred teenagers together, none of whom knew each other, I met some of my dearest friends. We now look back at our first meetings during orientation and laugh together! We will never forget the feeling of looking out into a sea of people and seeing each other, hoping that we could all be friends eventually. Little did we know, we would have classes together for the next four years.
What do you plan to do after graduation?
After I graduate, I plan on teaching for several years before coming back to get my master’s degree. I have accepted a position as a seventh grade science teacher at Wakefield Middle School for the 2016-2017 school year.
What is the most important thing you’ve learned in the College of Education?
The most important thing I have learned at the College of Education is how to budget time. I have been presented with so many opportunities during my time with the college, all of which I felt the desire to follow through with. At times I may have felt that I was overwhelmed and that I needed to stop doing something. By not quitting any of these extra opportunities, and learning how to budget time, I feel that I will become a better, more active teacher during my career.
Has there been a particular faculty or staff member that has greatly influenced your education?
Mary Louise Bellamy retired during my junior year. I have never been more confident in saying that a teacher cared for her students as I am in saying that she truly loved and cared for my class. When she left we were all upset, and she has gone out of her way to stay in contact with us and encourage us during our journey to becoming great educators. I think about her often, and I hope to develop relationships with my students the same way Dr. Bellamy did with her students.
How do you think the College of Education has prepared you for a career after graduation?
The College of Education has taught me how to think like an educator. I believe that teaching is my calling and that I have many of the characteristics that a teacher needs to have. Thinking like an educator — being able to delineate between fair and equal, or to see a limited amount of supplies come together to make an impacting lesson — is something I directly attribute to the college. My four years spent at NC State have made me a more polished and professional educator.
What advice would you give students considering pursuing a degree in education?
To anyone still questioning whether they should get a degree in education, my advice would be to do it! You will rarely get an opportunity to be both deeply challenged and deeply rewarded in one profession. I love being able to wake up every day and know that I have so many opportunities to make a difference in someone’s life.
Do you have any additional thoughts on graduating?
I have dreamed about graduating since I came to college, even when everyone told me to relish the time I had and not to wish it away. Now that I am staring graduation in the face, I can’t imagine what my life would be like if I wouldn’t have come to NC State. I love this school and the memories I have made here. This university has an important place in my heart that will never be forgotten!