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AU News

Robert Anderson Middle Names Whitehead Teacher of the Year

Hailey Whitehead
Robert Anderson Middle School named Hailey (Beville) Whitehead Teacher of the Year.

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Whitehead graduated from the Anderson University College of Education in 2020 with a degree in Elementary Education and an add-on in Learning Disabilities and Special Education.  

“I think that a Teacher of the Year honor is just external validation… that what you’re doing matters and that others can appreciate that as well,” she said. “And it comes from your coworkers who have become like friends and family to me.” 

Whitehead loves being around children. When she first came to Anderson University, she started out studying psychology, thinking she would become a child psychologist or counselor. Not entirely sure that was what she wanted to do, her friends and her then boyfriend (now husband) urged her to consider education.  

“I jumped into the education program and there was no looking back. I absolutely loved it,” she said.  

Whitehead teaches sixth graders reading and writing. She also has an inclusion class and a gifted and talented class. One of Whitehead’s happiest memories from her own school days was when her third grade teacher would bring in books and read them to her students; they would then have a fun conversation about the story in class.  

Like her third grade teacher, Whitehead shares her love of books with her own students. 

“We all sit in a circle… and have good conversations about what we’re reading. It’s my favorite way to learn because I like to read as an adult and so I help them gain a love of reading as well,” she said. “It builds up throughout the year their ability to sustain long conversations that are productive. By the time we get to deep conversations, it’s a great time.” 

Whitehead says that in teaching there are challenges, but she seeks something good in every day. 

“It’s a lot easier to wake yourself up and do the next day and find something good, and then before you know it, that’s 180 days of good things that have happened,” she said. 


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