So Min Lee, who grew up in a small town in South Korea, has always dreamed of being a teacher.
“I was educated in my country’s rather rigorous educational environment,” says So Min, “and that experience both positively and negatively influenced my educational philosophy.” So Min is studying early childhood education and will be graduating from Pellissippi State this May.
Before coming to the United States, So Min earned her bachelor’s degree in business management and worked for an overseas sales company. However, she realized that she really wanted to work with children instead of working in an office.
“I love the pure imagination of young children,” shares So Min, who chose Pellissippi State because of the theoretical and practical experience taught in the Early Childhood Education program. “I can’t forget the day I first visited this college,” recalls So Min. She says the people she met were so kind, she forgot her nervousness as an international student.
So Min credits her college success to the professors, advisors and fellow students who helped her throughout her time at Pellissippi State. She felt especially supported during one of her virtual classes this past year, when she was nervous and froze during a presentation.
“My professor and classmates listened to my presentation carefully. After my less-than-perfect presentation, they gave me a lot of applause. This was a positive experience for me and made me feel confident in all my assignments after that. I already miss my classmates,” she shares.
So Min is thankful to have had teachers who made her laugh and shared their positive energy, which made So Min look forward to class every week. “I am grateful to everyone at the College who helped me,” shares So Min. “All memories are the best for me.”
After graduation, So Min would like to work at a preschool, and her long-term career goal is to manage a children’s center for low-income families in her country.
“I was sad that children from low-socioeconomic status families cannot experience quality learning activities,” says So Min. “As a children’s educator, I have learned that all children must be protected from danger and abuse and that they have rights to receive an equal education. If I go back to my country, I want to run a nonprofit children’s center where all children can receive an equal and developmentally appropriate education. There, I want to work with children and be a good influence on early childhood educators in my country.”