This is part of a monthly “Why I Chose Education” series in which NC State College of Education alumni, students, faculty and staff share why they chose education.
Growing up, people always told Emma Wilson ‘21 she would make a good teacher. But she never considered it until her senior year of high school. Wilson was helping one of her friends with his math homework during lunch one day when the math teacher came over to her desk and left a sticky note, which read “You should be a teacher someday.”
“That was a very powerful moment for me and made me seriously consider being a teacher. I want to be that person for my future students — someone who notices the potential that they have within them and helps guide them and gives them the tools to make a positive difference in the world,” she said. “I want to teach kids to be kind and accepting of others and teach them to be confident in themselves while giving them the support they need to succeed in life.”
Wilson came to NC State because of its location in Raleigh and because she loved the opportunities available to her, academically and otherwise. She was also influenced by her brother-in-law, an alumnus who gave the university rave reviews. She fell in love with the campus the minute she stepped on it and toured with a long-time family friend, who was also an alum.
Even when she arrived at NC State, she was still not sure she wanted to pursue education. Wilson came to NC State in the exploratory studies program, but it was through that program that she realized teaching was a natural fit. And she transferred into the College of Education.
Wilson, who is now a senior in the elementary education program, looks forward to becoming an elementary school teacher. She hopes to become Teacher of the Year in 10 years and work in a school where there is a welcoming environment for all, no matter where they come from. And she plans to build a classroom where she can foster a love for learning in all of her students.
“I see myself in a beautiful classroom, filled to the brim with wonderful educational tools to help my students succeed. It will be stocked with amazing supplies, be fantastically decorated and be a place where all students can come in feeling loved and accepted,” Wilson said.
When she isn’t preparing to be a teacher, the senior from Hillsborough, North Carolina, enjoys doing yoga, reading, playing tennis, being outside and spending time with the ones she loves. Wilson shares why she chose education, what she enjoys most about being in the NC State College of Education and what others should know about the college.
Why I Chose Education: I have always enjoyed learning. School has always been one of my favorite things, so now it feels like a natural fit that I am going into education. I enjoy every subject. I also love helping other people, from young kids to teenagers to adults. I am a huge people person and I will definitely get that opportunity going into education. I love spreading love, kindness and knowledge, and all of that feels achievable in going into education. I didn’t start out wanting to go into education, but now, looking back, I can’t see myself anywhere else.
How Education Has Shaped Me: Education has allowed me to fully be myself, and has given me confidence in my knowledge and abilities. Education has allowed me to realize my dream of teaching and given me the chance to follow it. It has made me a stronger, smarter and kinder woman, who continues to grow and learn each and every day.
What I Enjoy Most About Being Part of the NC State College of Education: The community in the College of Education, hands down. Everyone in the college is supportive and kind. The professors and staff will always be there for you and push you to be your best self. They open your eyes to the joys of teaching and allow you to fully realize your potential as a teacher. They create such a wonderful environment to grow as an educator. I also enjoy my peers. It is so fun being surrounded by a community of like-minded people, all with the same goal, who are so hilarious, smart and kind. You really grow together and I am thankful for them each and every day. The community is the thing I definitely enjoy the most!
An Experience with the College of Education that Changed Me: My junior year, I had the opportunity to go to the Hispanic Families Center of Raleigh with [Associate Teaching Professor Ann] Harrington to provide tutoring in reading. That was my first time being able to apply what I had been learning in my reading course to help a child become a stronger reader. It was so much fun to see that I had the capability to teach and make an impact on a student. I will never forget the smile on my child’s face when he was finally able to do a word sorting activity without my help. And on the final day of tutoring, he read a whole book without stopping and his grin got even bigger. This opportunity definitely changed me. It gave me the confidence to believe that I was going to be a great teacher and that I could help change a child’s life.
What Others Should Know about the College of Education: This is the best place to be if you want to be a teacher. The College of Education will give you so much to help you become the best teacher you can be. The community is so full of love and passion for education that it’s infectious. Everyone will be there for you every step of the way. Through the College of Education, you will learn, grow and for sure, become an extraordinary educator.