Edmondson passionate about teaching, mentorship

portrait of Charley Edmondson

A sense of community drew Charley Edmondson to East Carolina University.

“I first came to campus in February of 2022 for my College of Education scholarship interview, and everyone was so kind and welcoming,” said the elementary education major. “I was familiar with campus because of my two older sisters that are also Pirates, and the at-home feeling kicked in once I sat down for my interview.”

Edmondson knew that she wanted to work with children for her career, but wasn’t sure what path to take. As a high school student, she interned in a local second grade classroom to see if teaching was the right choice for her.

“Over the course of that internship, I fell in love with the students and the classroom and developed a strong respect for the education field,” she said. “I knew that a classroom is where I was meant to be, and teaching has pulled at my heartstrings since then, especially in all of my practicums thus far.”

As an upperclassman, Edmondson has begun contributing to the same sense of community that made her become a Pirate. She currently serves a mentor to first year education students in the Education Community of Scholars living-learning community.

“This current freshman class that we work with as mentors is fabulous, and I cannot say enough great things about them,” she said. “Some of my freshmen refer to me as the ‘Mama Mentor,’ because of the close bond I share with most of them and how I am constantly rooting for them and always in their corner.”

When prompted to select a concentration in her elementary education degree, Edmondson gravitated toward reading as it was one of her strengths in school. Now, she has a true love for the subject thanks in no small part to literacy studies faculty, such as Erin Kessel.

“My reading concentration courses have become by far some of my most favorite courses that I would take again in a heartbeat, just for fun,” Edmondson said. “I’d like to say a special thank you to Ms. Kessel for making this reading concentration so enjoyable and for fostering a love for literacy in her classroom. You are so special to me!”

Edmondson’s community extends beyond the walls of Speight, the College of Education building, and the education living-learning community in Ballard Residence Hall. She has found friendships throughout the different student organizations filling ECU’s campus with the variety of events hosted weekly. She also enjoys playing games with her friends, watching ‘Dancing with the Stars’ and painting with watercolors.

 When reflecting on her educational journey so far, Edmondson advises other students to trust their gut if they think they may want to work in education.

“You’ll hear left and right about all the negatives that go with working in education, but if you love working in children and are committed to this career, it all makes up for it. I promise you —seeing the growth, success, and happiness from your students is worth far more than a paycheck.”

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