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Eduardo Herrera-Rodriguez ’23: ‘I Chose Elementary Education Because of the Positive Impact That Education Has Had on My Own Life’

As a Hispanic educator, Eduardo Herrera-Rodriguez ’23 has seen the excitement of children from a similar background in his classrooms over the idea of having a teacher who looks like them or their family members.

As he graduates from the NC State College of Education this May with a bachelor’s degree in elementary education, he is looking forward to serving as a role model for his future students while providing them with educational experiences that build their confidence and help them succeed.  

Learn more about Eduardo Herrera-Rodriguez:

Hometown: Apex, North Carolina

Major/Area of Study: Elementary Education

Why did you choose the NC State College of Education?

I chose the NC State College of Education because of what I have heard about it and how well prepared its teachers are. The support and level of experience that NC State offers its pre-service teachers has been one of the biggest positives I have heard about the College of Education and made me feel confident that it would be the best for my education.

Why did you choose your area of study?

I chose elementary education because of the positive impact that education has had on my own life and how I have seen it change lives. I want to offer that same experience for kids that may have a similar upbringing to me in this country while being a role model who may also look like them. I believe that the elementary grades are some of the most important in a person’s educational experiences, as they help establish some of the most foundational skills you need.

What’s your next step? What do you have planned after graduation?

After graduation, I plan to work in a K-5 classroom and work with kids in all subject areas. I want to offer a welcoming environment and culturally responsive classroom where every single one of my students will feel as though they can and will do their best learning.

How has the College of Education prepared you for that next step?

With several semesters of fieldwork, the College of Education at NC State has done an amazing job of preparing its students to be teachers in a classroom of their own. They have worked on teaching you the methods that you will use and see in a current classroom while allowing us the time and space to put them into practice. From field partners to a whole year of independently taking over a classroom, NC State has also eased us into the process of managing a whole classroom independently so that we can feel confident in the process. 

What do you eventually hope to accomplish in your field?

I simply want to see a child grow and learn, while enjoying the process. Knowing that I have been able to help a student develop skills such as reading and writing, adding numbers or finding passion for a specific subject or art would be one of the biggest accomplishments for me. I hope I can offer my students experiences that they won’t forget and that can develop confident individuals who will go on to do whatever makes them happy.

Do you have a favorite memory from your time in the College of Education?

I loved my junior year field placement partners/class. I had an amazing kindergarten class that I taught with two other girls and that set of kids has always had a special place in my heart as my “first class.”

Tell us about an experience you had with the College of Education that had the biggest impact on you or your career.

I have taught kids that are also Hispanic and have told me how much they love seeing me because I look like someone in their family. I think that hearing that really made me understand the importance of my role and how my identity in this field can be so impactful for a set of kids right off the bat.