WASHINGTON, NC (WNCT) – Valerie Whitehead is in her 11th year as a CTE teacher, but her teaching career wasn’t her first choice. “When I first started it was the whole classroom situation I wasn’t used to that, I was used to dealing with adults dealing with students is a whole new animal,” she explained.
Before becoming a teacher, Whitehead worked for the state with the Department of Revenue and from there she went into business for herself selling insurance. After spending time with her children, volunteering in the schools she fell in love with the idea of becoming a teacher. She started the steps of transitioning her career of becoming a teacher and the rest is history.
This year, Whitehead took on a new challenge of teaching STEM. She said, “This is my first year teaching STEM and it was one of those things that Mrs. Nixon (her principal) came to me and said we’ve won this grant and we want you to teach the course and here it is and it was way out of my comfort zone.”
Not only is this Mrs. Whitehead’s first year teaching STEM, this is Beaufort County’s first STEM class in the school district. The independent style of teaching the curriculum, has given her renewed sense of wanting to learn more.
She said, she’s learning so much and the style of teaching has revived her as a teacher and she’s having a blast. “The STEM courses I’m teaching are more about invention and innovation and we spend some time with the math and all that, it’s more about the kids, they design, we do lots of projects, and watching the kids learn it’s just amazing and it’s amazing what’s in their head,” she said.