WHITEVILLE, NC (WWAY) — Lori Floyd has taught exceptional children for more than two decades.
A graduate of the University of North Carolina at Pembroke, Floyd says the thing she enjoys most about her career is working with exceptional students, a term often used to describe children who perform significantly ‘above’ or ‘below’ average in some respect.
“Growing up, my mom’s only brother had cerebral palsy so he was handicapped and I grew up with him and he always meant so much to me and was so special to the family,” she said. “I think that just led me in that direction.”
Having taught 25 years, this year marks her 17th year at Edgewood Elementary School.
“I am to the point where I’m teaching some of the children’s children that I’ve had, and its just incredible,” she said.
Just as her students depend on her, so too, do many of the newer teachers at the school.
“As much as I’ve tried to help them, I feel like they have helped me as well,” Floyd said. “They’ve showed me that new strategies can be used and different fun things. They kinda reinvigorated me a little bit.”
A teacher for only two years, Jordan Harrell says Floyd is a role model.
“Every time I come in here, she has a very nurturing relationship and I always see her working hands-on with the kids,” and she added, “The kids respect her and she respects them. She has a very nurturing and loving environment in here.”
Principal Rachel Smith says Floyd is a strong advocate for exceptional children at the school.
“Not only for her students but other students within the building,” Smith said. “If there’s a student who needs some extra time with her whether its extra time in math or reading or behavior support or that extra love to get them through the day — Ms. Floyd is always willing to help out any student and any teacher in our building.”
How does Floyd feel about being WWAY and Mattress and Furniture Liquidators’ Teacher of the Week?
“It feels great,” Floyd said. “Thanks for coming to Edgewood. We’ve got a great school and its great to show it off.”
While its hard to get her to admit it, we know Floyd is a big part of the success here.
“I think part of it is the sisterhood that we have here,” Floyd said. “We have such a strong group of teachers and they encourage each other, we’re there to cry, laugh and pray together. We’re just a great bunch of ladies and those relationships are really important to me and also the children. I love this age group.”
If you know of an exceptional teacher making a remarkable impact in the classroom, click here to access our nomination form. Each week’s winner receives a $100 gift card on behalf of WWAY and our Teacher of the Week sponsor, Mattress and Furniture Liquidators.