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Rachel Coffman ’17: Taking the High (School) Road

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Rachel Coffman ’17 wants to make math more accessible to her students — and to support them as the College of Education faculty have supported her.

Name: Rachel Coffman

Hometown: Raleigh

Major: Mathematics and Math Education

Activities: North Carolina Council for Teachers of Mathematics (NCCTM), Noyce Teaching Scholar, avid runner, Catholic Campus Ministries leader

What’s Next: Looking for a high school math teacher position in Wilmington

Why I Chose the College of Education:  

I wanted to be a high school math teacher. I was impressed with how my College of Education advisors helped me get everything straightened out so that I could enroll in the appropriate classes; I knew they really cared.

Why I Chose My Major: Math was always my strong suit. A lot of students have a preconceived notion that they just aren’t “math people” and cannot be successful at it. I want to help make math more accessible to students. I want to be there to encourage, challenge and persist with my students. Even when they want to give up, I won’t give up on them.

A Faculty Member Who Made a Big Impression: Cyndi Edgington’s teaching reflected the care and support that I hope to convey to my students one day. From the first day of the semester, she stepped into her role as a mother-like shepherd to a group of excited (and slightly terrified) future teachers. She told us how excited she was to work with us and to support us through the year. That really stuck out to me. She wasn’t afraid to love us and to tell us that she loved us — that’s one thing I hope to do with my future students as well.

How the College Changed Me: The college made me a more hard-working student and confident leader. Through my time in the college, I pushed myself out of my comfort zone and gradually stepped into my role as a future teacher, building my confidence while learning all that goes into teaching.