Aaliyah Whitfield ‘20: ‘I am Prepared for Just About Any Scenario Because I Have Had to Learn About Catering to Students’ Needs, Classroom Management Styles and More’

Aaliyah Whitfield

A love of English inspired Aaliyah Whitfield ‘20 to pursue a career in middle grades education. It was in those classes where she flourished. And she wants to help others do the same.

“I believe middle grades education is crucial in a student getting a little insight into what they might want to do as a career,” Whitfield said.

She chose the NC State College of Education because she knew she would learn more about the teaching profession and be prepared to be the best teacher.

And her field experiences have done just that.

As a sophomore, Whitfield stepped into the classroom for the first time and learned that it takes a lot to meet the needs of every student in the classroom. Being able to get into the classroom early in her college career was beneficial for Whitfield.

“I think that I would have missed out on many chances for learning about the classroom, personally, if field experiences started later than sophomore year,” she said.

Her second experience in the field focused on data and assessment. Through that opportunity, Whitfield learned how to look at an assessment, focus on what students are not grasping on a particular concept and target that in a way where the students will come out with a better understanding, she says.

And her education courses prepared her for each field experience by segmenting what she would focus on during each placement.

“I can honestly say that taking each and every education class has made a difference,” Whitfield said. “I am prepared for just about any scenario because I have had to learn about catering to students’ needs, classroom management styles and more.”

Whitfield is completing her final field experience this semester as a student teacher at Dillard Drive Middle School. She says she is excited about using everything she’s learned, working as a professional with amazing teachers and making a difference in students’ lives.

“Education chose me,” said Whitfield. “I knew for a long time that I wanted to instill everything I learned from my teachers into fellow students. It was those teachers who helped me to grow so much. So I chose to give back and help students on their educational journey.”