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Undergraduate Student Speaker Walaa Sarsour ’19: Providing an Education is Not Offering the Knowledge to Students to Answer a Question, But Empowering Them as Young Leaders to Answer a Lifetime of Questions

Walaa Sarsour

The NC State College of Education will graduate 157 students Dec. 19, 2019. This is part of a series of profiles with some members of the Class of 2019 who will walk across the stage this December.

Name: Walaa Sarsour’19

Area of Study: Bachelor of Science in Mathematics Education

Hometown: Cary, North Carolina
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Activities: Recipient of the Colonel Rodman and Marvin B. Smith scholarships and involved in numerous youth and community support programs, including helping incoming refugees in language acquisition and skill-building through The Islamic Association of Raleigh.

Notable: She will deliver the Charge to the Undergraduate Students at the December 2019 Graduation Ceremony.

What I Hope Others Takeaway from My Charge to the Undergraduate Students: I hope that others take away from my charge a positive and productive outlook on education and leave carrying a comprehensive methodology and compass by which to navigate every step of their long educational and professional journey as educators.

Why I Chose I Education: I chose education because it is the field that I believe I could make the largest impact through. Through education, I get to educate and learn from the future leaders of this world. I get to inspire them and be inspired by them, and I get to be the type of teacher that I needed and had as a student myself. Education is a profession from which every other profession stems, and I wanted to be part of the team of professionals who have the privilege to educate our future professionals of the world. Finally, I chose education because it was a profession which I could put my heart and mind to.

Why I Chose the NC State College of Education: There’s something unique about the College of Education at NC State, and that is the exceptional faculty who lead their candidates by example. The passion and professionalism of the professors and staff is like no other. As a teacher candidate at NC State, I felt like I was part of a family that cared about its members, both personally and professionally. The college’s preparation programs and teacher candidate support systems are designed to set students up for success and make them as prepared as possible for 21st century teaching.

Something I’ll Never Forget About My Time at NC State: The feeling of support and love that my professors had for me as a teacher candidate. I was always treated as a professional in training, not as a student. One of the biggest lessons that my education professors and instructors like Cynthia Edgington, Candy Beal, Sarah Cannon and Charlotte Roberts taught me is what being an educated, informed, caring, equitable and strong individual looks like and how such traits in an individual are what qualify one to be an effective teacher. These professors leave a legacy which powerfully communicates that to truly become an effective educator, one must possess essential character traits and practices that precede content knowledge and instructional practice.

How the NC State College of Education Changed Me: My time with the NC State College of Education changed me in many ways, one of which includes allowing me to realize that as a teacher, I’m a lifelong learner. It also changed my perspective on what it means to be an effective teacher and how providing an education is not offering the knowledge to students to answer a question, but empowering them as young leaders to answer a lifetime of questions and better understand the world around them and the role that they play in influencing it for the better as capable individuals of unlimited potential.

What’s Next for Me: In my eyes, my educational journey begins here. I look forward to making productive change through my classroom and school at large, all while seeking mentors to learn from along the way, no matter how many years of experience I come to have. [As an educator] I want to teach holistically and to support my students in every way that I can, and to maintain a positive attitude and sense of purpose and never lose focus or allow life experiences to make me forget why I began in the first place.