Q & A with Anna Claire Wilkerson
The classes we take allow you to get classroom experience starting your freshman year, and the program sets us up for a successful career in education.
When did you decide you wanted to be a teacher?
In high school, my English teacher had us all help introduce the class to the specific topic. I introduced my class to a poetry lesson one day. After class my teacher pulled me aside and told me how wonderful my lesson was and that I should look into teaching. This really stuck with me throughout the rest of my senior year. I had always worked with kids at a dance studio as an assistant teacher, and so it made sense when I came to VCU orientation that I decided on the elementary education major. I chose this major because it will lead me to a career that will allow me to help people everyday and really make a difference.
What was one of your favorite classes in your major?
My favorite class had been Classroom Management. This class was my favorite because it allowed us to learn about how to treat students as people. We discussed the hard parts of being a teacher and the best way to help and care for students. I viewed this class as the "hard core" side of teaching. A lot of people assume my major is just arts and crafts and singing songs, but people fail to realize how hard teaching is.
Tell us about the professors in the LSEE program.
Dr. Jeannine Tate was one of my favorite professors. Although I did not get to have her until my senior year, she made the biggest difference in my college experience. Dr. Tate not only was a phenomenal professor, but she was so caring and understanding with all of us. She made sure to check in with each student and she always took the time to answer our questions. Dr. Tate inspired me every day in class and made me want to pursue my goal of becoming a principal one day.
Why did you decide to graduate with a master's degree through the LSEE program?
It is important for me to receive my master's degree before I begin teaching because I will enter the workforce more experienced. I think the three semesters of grad school is a great transition into being in the classroom by yourself because you get additional teaching experience working in classrooms with other teachers who have multiple years of experience. This will give me an edge because it shows that I am willing to invest my time in myself to further my education for the benefit of my future students. I think the master's degree sets elementary education students up for a successful future in the education system.