Can you tell us about yourself?
"Hi! I'm Sami Whitley. I am a special education resource teacher at Edgewood Elementary in Whiteville, NC. I am in my 2nd year of teaching."
Why did you start a career in education?
"I was definitely guided into this position by chance. I never previously considered special education. I have always known what I wanted to teach, just wasn't exactly sure where I was being led or what I was being led to teach but this position fell into my lap and it's been one of the most fulfilling experiences of my life. I definitely don't want to be anywhere else."
If you could have any other job what would it be and why?
"If I could have any other job in the world, it would definitely be photography. I'm a hobbyist but I get so much joy out of taking photos and editing them and putting them together. I really enjoy it."
How are kids and teaching different now than 30 years ago?
"I'm not sure, I wasn't alive."
What would you tell someone who wants to become a teacher?
"For someone considering teaching as a career, I would definitely tell them to buckle up. It is one crazy but well rewarding ride. I couldn't imagine being anywhere else."
What is one thing you would change to help kids learn better?
"The only thing I would change to help kids learn better is access to resources rather those resources be field trips, or increased technology, or more up-to-date textbooks. Poverty stricken communities especially suffer from a lack of resources within the schools and communities in general. It negatively impacts their children's futures and their desire to learn."