Watson Chronicle


Student Opportunities and Student News

WCE Sophomore Builds Classroom Experience as a First Grade Volunteer

Sunday, March 01, 2015

When Katie Whitley learned she had Fridays off this semester she asked faculty member Maggie Guggenheimer if there was a local classroom where she could volunteer. Guggenheimer introduced her to Bradley Creek first grade teacher Morgan Cecil, and Whitley has devoted one day each week to helping out in Cecil's classroom.

Whitley is a sophomore enrolled in the Elementary Education program at the Watson College. Guggenheimer describes her as "a student who goes above and beyond what's expected of a pre-service teacher."

Whitley is thrilled with the volunteer opportunity at Bradley Creek.

"I love being here," she said. "I haven't had a chance to be in a first grade classroom before and I think this is the grade I want to teach."

Sophomore2The daughter of a high school science teacher, Whitley decided to pursue a career in education after helping to teach beginner band in Havelock, N.C. as a high school senior. A desire to major in education and minor in anthropology drew her to UNCW.

Whitley said she appreciates the dedication of faculty and the many opportunities offered to students at UNCW.

"My professors are positive and encouraging and have reinforced my choice of a career," she said. "When I asked Mrs. Guggenheimer to help me gain more experience in the classroom, she responded right away."

Whitley said her experience in the Ed Lab also helped her gain confidence as a pre-service teacher.

"The Ed Lab is great," she said. "There are so many resources available there, I can do lesson planning easily now."

Cecil said Whitley is an asset in the classroom.

"Katie is very helpful and not nervous at all," Cecil said. "She notices what the students need and steps in to help."

Cecil has also been impressed with Whitley's positive attitude.

"The students love her and look forward to seeing her every Friday. She's going to make a wonderful teacher," she said.