Hannah Smith ‘18 always knew that she wanted to teach, but being a student in the NC State College of Education helped her discover why. Smith, a Raleigh native, plans to give back to the community she grew up in by teaching in Wake County.
Name: Hannah Smith
Hometown: Raleigh, North Carolina
Field of Study: Elementary Education
Activities: College of Education Ambassadors, Kappa Alpha Theta, Order of Omega
What’s Next: I plan on staying in Wake County and teaching!
Why did you choose education?
I chose education because it has always been my dream to teach, and I truly believe it is the most rewarding profession. I am so excited to make a difference in my students’ lives and help them grow to love learning and reach their fullest potential.
Why did you choose the NC State College of Education?
When I met with students and faculty in the program my junior and senior year of high school, everyone was so welcoming and it already felt like I was a part of the College of Education family. The small community feel, STEM concentration and the amount of time spent in elementary classrooms from early on in the program made my choice very easy. Growing up a Wolfpack fan, I always wanted to attend NC State, and when I discovered how amazing the College of Education is here, I knew it was meant to be.
How did the NC State College of Education impact you?
The NC State College of Education has impacted me in so many ways. It has allowed me to grow as a student and supported me every step of the way in becoming the teacher I am today. It has taught me the methods and content of what to teach, but more importantly, helped me discover my “why” behind becoming a teacher. My “why” is getting to have a lasting impact on my students. It’s being a part of my students’ journey in discovery and helping them achieve who they want to be. My “why” has kept me going on the tough days and made the successes all the more rewarding. The NC State College of Education is truly special and has helped my dream of being a teacher become real by pushing and molding me into the best teacher and advocate I can be for my students.
What’s your favorite memory from your time at the College of Education?
My favorite memory from my time at the College of Education is student teaching. I may be biased, but I genuinely think I had 23 of the best 3rd graders on this planet to teach. I was welcomed with open arms, was able to work through challenges, celebrate successes and always leave for home with at least a dozen hugs and funny stories to keep me going.
Tell us about a faculty member who has influenced you.
Through her authenticity and kind heart for students, Dr. Joanna Koch made a big impact on me. She once shared with my class that we are all success stories. At first, I was a little taken aback by her statement, but I came to realize the truth in what she said. By making that bold statement, it showed that she believed in us and truly thought that we are all going to go big places in life and make a difference. This helped influence me in having that same mindset for my own students. She helped me imagine the endless possibilities that can come from helping all students believe that about themselves. I am so thankful for her and her passion for teaching, which has not only influenced me to be a better teacher, but to be one who strives to help make that truth known to my students.
What advice do you have for others considering education?
If you’re considering education, make sure to find your “why” behind going into it. It is definitely not always easy and each new day may bring new challenges, but if your heart is there for the kids and making an impact on their lives, there is nothing more rewarding. Education is one of the most important jobs out there and we need more amazing teachers to help inspire and teach students that they can do it, and that you are going to be there every step of the way to help them succeed. If you are truly passionate about teaching, just do it! It is so worth it.