Sam Whatley

Sam Whatley
Teacher of Primary

Sam has been a primary teacher now for almost ten years and one of the things she enjoys is the variety of subjects and topics that you can delve into with children. There is a lot to cover in the huge, primary curriculum but Sam says she is always amazed by the resilience and ability of children to absorb so much knowledge and learn so many skills.

After teaching in different schools, and engaging in ‘Lockdown’ home-schooling with her own kids, Sam decided to explore teaching in a different capacity. Online communication was becoming so easy and ‘normal’ for adults and children that it got her thinking about the possibilities of teaching in this way, so now she teaches children all over the world from home!

When Sam began teaching online she did wonder how hard it might be to establish a strong, learner/teacher relationship with her students but actually, using the Zoom platform with pictures, sound, whiteboard and screen-sharing available, it was easier than she expected. “Children love technology, and are often extremely proficient with it, so as long as the wifi is working, then a great connection for learning can begin to grow.”

From Sam’s experience, younger children do sometimes find it hard to concentrate and sit for long periods of time, but this would be the same in a physical classroom, so sometimes the teaching and learning has to become quite active and physical, for example, playing a lively ‘spot the verb’ charades game or star-jumping with times tables! Sam says that as long as children have the chance to talk and ask questions, have a go at things and get up and down when they need to, so much can be achieved, learning can progress and confidence can be boosted!

Sam has done numerous jobs over the years, ranging from a TV script editor and copywriter, to teaching baby-signing and then primary school teaching. Sam has also spent two years travelling and working in Australia, New Zealand, Fiji and USA.  “I’ve always loved learning and am usually trying to improve or study something new. When I’m not doing this, I enjoy baking, writing and playing tennis, as well as running in the beautiful Devon countryside where I live with my family.”