Formerly a full-time teacher, Jennifer Eddins decided the time was right to slow down and spend more time with her family.
My mom ended up getting into teaching, and she taught for 35 years. She started the Allied Health Science program in Gaston County (where the family eventually settled). At the time, it was called Career Technical Education and the courses were taken by high school students who were interested in working in the medical field. My dad eventually left business and returned to teaching. Actually, I did not want to be a teacher. I loved to read and write, and I knew that was my skill. I wanted to major in journalism or communications, but my high school counselor talked me out of that, saying it was for ‘dumb blondes.’ He told me to major in English.
While in college (at N.C. State), I realized I would probably have to be a teacher. But in the second semester of my junior year, I visited a high school and observed a teacher. I saw how hard the teacher was working and how disrespectful the students were to her. It was horrible. I said to myself, ‘Heck no, this isn’t for me.’ So I did not student teach, and when I graduated, I went to work in the business world. Then I had Harrison (oldest daughter) and realized a teaching schedule would allow me more time with her. I began teaching and was lateral entry.
I still teach, because I sub for Wake County schools. Gary McConkey talked to me about helping him with PEG Media (programming for the towns of Knightdale, Garner and Clayton). He needed someone who understands education and all the jargon, so I write scripts and interview and spend time in the schools working on education stories. My goal is to show how hard teachers work. I really don’t think most people realize the time and effort that goes into teaching, and it gives me a chance to highlight eastern Wake County and all the great things going on here.