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Julia Hnatt ’18: On Being a Role Model, Source of Support and Sounding Board

A classroom experience during her junior year opened Julia Hnatt’s ’18 eyes to the impact she can make on students’ lives through relationship building by being a role model for them, a source of support and a sounding board.

Name: Julia Hnatt

Hometown: Cary, North Carolina

Field of Study: Middle Grades Language Arts and Social Studies Education

Activities (Research or Extracurricular): I was a member of the NC State Dance Team for 4 years, and I currently work with Dr. Young researching the benefits of utilizing digital video in the ELA classroom.

What’s Next: I’m on the job hunt! I’ll be looking for a teaching position somewhere here in North Carolina.

How did the NC State College of Education impact you?
Being a part of the NC State College of Education has been the greatest experience. I feel as though the college definitely helped mold me into a much more mature and professional individual. I also learned a lot about myself, both personally and professionally. In the college, you are awarded so many opportunities to develop and refine your personal methods and teaching style. In the past 4 years, I have really discovered who I am as an educator and as an individual. The College of Education has shaped me into the person that I am today, for sure!

What do you hope to accomplish in your field after graduation?
It may sound cheesy, but I really would just like to be the best educator that I can be for my students. I want to strive to continually learn all that I can about the latest and best practices in education to guarantee that I am providing my students with the best instruction possible.

What’s your favorite memory from your time at the College of Education?
During my junior year in the program, the MSL cohort had the opportunity to partner with 6th-grade students at Centennial Campus Magnet Middle School to teach them mini-lessons about poetry. We each worked with a partner for about 6 or 7 weeks, and it was one of the first experiences I had working with a student one-on-one. I learned a lot in that partnership, and I built up a great relationship with my partner by the end of the semester. The following year, my cohort had the opportunity to partner with Centennial Campus Magnet Middle School again — this time with a 7th-grade class. On the first day of our new partnership, I walked in and saw my partner from the year before. She ran up to me, gave me a hug, and thanked me for teaching her about poetry. She told me that she did not think she would enjoy it at all, but now she was reading and writing poetry all the time. That was a huge moment for me because it showed me just how much of an impact that a teacher can have on the students that they teach!

What advice do you have for others considering education?
Do it. Being a teacher is the best job in the world, and do not let anyone tell you otherwise! It is such an incredible and powerful thing to know that you have the opportunity to help students learn and grow — not only academically, but also personally. You are not just the students’ teacher — you’re their role model, their source of support, and their sounding board. You get to build relationships with your students and be someone that they can rely on. I could not think of a more rewarding profession!