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Scholarship Support To Help Kristen Frandock ’23 Create an Inclusive Classroom for Her Students

Kristen Frandock

When Kristen Frandock was in elementary school, she had the same teacher for first and second grade, a teacher who made her love going to school.

“Elementary school was my prime time,” Frandock said.

After that, Frandock decided she wanted to be a teacher who her students would remember long after they graduated. But even as she chose to major in elementary education at the NC State College of Education, she wondered if entering the classroom was right for her. Then, last semester, she was placed in a field experience at Poe Magnet Elementary School. 

On the first day, her mentor teacher, Shane Chinni, took Frandock and another College of Education student around the school to make introductions, ensuring the whole school, all the way up to the principal, knew who she was. From then on, Frandock said she felt like she was part of the Poe Magnet Elementary family.

“We just felt so welcome there,” Frandock said. “Everybody would always be like, ‘It’s so good to see y’all. We can’t wait for y’all to come back. We hope when y’all graduate, you’ll consider getting a job here. We need you. We love you. It was just so amazing.'”

At Poe Magnet Elementary, Frandock also learned lessons she said will prepare her when she starts student teaching next year. 

“I remember one time I told my kids, ‘I honestly don’t know the answer to this,'” Frandock said “Dr. Chinni said, ‘It’s OK not to know. Kids need to see that teachers don’t know everything.’ I think having him as a mentor really boosted my confidence.”

Frandock said she appreciates the way the NC State College of Education prepares students by providing them with opportunities to engage in field experiences, especially in Wake County schools.

“I love Raleigh, so I want to stay here,” Frandock said. “They’re preparing me more than I could have ever expected.”

In addition to the preparation Frandock is receiving through the NC State College of Education, she’s also receiving financial support in the form of the Moshakos Family Teacher Education Scholarship

“Knowing that someone has our back and wants to support us and see us do good in the future. — I think that’s really it’s amazing,” Frandock said. 

The scholarship Frandock received to cover her tuition and fees has allowed her to be able to afford her textbooks as well as some supplies and materials for her future students.

“It’d be nice to get started on my classroom library, getting some different math manipulatives, reading games, stuff like that” Frandock said.

Frandock, a member of the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina, said Assistant Teaching Professor Jill Jones has been particularly supportive in helping her find books with Native American characters that she can share with her students in the future to help create a classroom where all of her students can feel at home.

“If everybody is included, and you recognize students’ backgrounds and let them talk about it and their identities, you create a more inclusive and welcoming environment and those relationships become stronger,” Frandock said.

As Frandock approaches her senior year, she is looking forward to starting her student teaching experience and becoming a teacher her students will never forget. 

“I’m just looking forward to meeting my kids,” she said. “I can’t wait. I’m so excited.”