Connie Kim ‘20: ‘We Get Exposure to Both Upper and Lower Elementary Classes at Different Schools so We Can See What it’s Like Working in a Variety of Environments’

Connie Kim

For Connie Kim ‘20, being a teacher was the only career she ever wanted from the time she was a little girl. The influence that teachers had on her life and other students was inspiring.

Now, Kim wants to be that role model for her students as an elementary school teacher.

“[Education] is such a powerful field of work and it doesn’t feel so much like ‘work’ when you’re so passionate about it,” she said. “I love being able to make a difference in students’ lives.”

The NC State College of Education is preparing Kim to be that role model for her students. Kim will graduate with more than 900 hours of experience in the field.

“Being in a different grade and school every semester was really beneficial for me. We get exposure to both upper and lower elementary classes at different schools so we can see what it’s like working in a variety of environments,” she said. “I got to see the pros and cons of each grade level because each one is such a different experience.”

Kim loved every minute of her first experience in the classroom. Her favorite lesson was a supply and demand lesson, where the kids were in a ‘mock factory’ setting and made paper donuts in teams. It was an experience that stuck with her.

“It’s one thing to learn about things in class, but to actually be out in the field and spending time with the kids is the best way to grow as a teacher,” she said.

Her second placement was challenging in the beginning. She struggled with lesson plans, but throughout the year, she grew as a teacher and as a person.

“It’s just something that takes practice and I learned that it’s okay to say you don’t know something and ask for help,” Kim said.

Kim will culminate her elementary education studies with a student teaching position at Kingswood Elementary, where she will get the opportunity to impact lives every day.

“I am excited to be with the kids every day and continue to see them grow, as well as see myself grow,” she said. “I do my best to build personal connections with all of my students.”