Mercer senior’s own experiences inspire him to become special education teacher


Mercer University senior Adam Mobley wants to encourage children to chase their dreams, no matter their abilities.  

As an elementary special education major, he wants to build on the work of educators who encouraged him and accommodated his needs growing up. 

Mobley was born with VATER syndrome, a complex condition that impacts several body parts, including his limbs. As a result, his arms are shorter than most people’s. 

“All of my teachers, honestly, have made a huge impact on my life,” he said. “They never hesitated to let me know if they could add in some assistance if they saw that I was struggling.” 

A Henry County native, Mobley takes classes at Mercer’s Henry County Regional Academic Center. He has been able to do his student teaching in Henry County as well and is currently working in a first grade classroom at Rocky Creek Elementary School.  

It’s natural for children to have questions about differences, but they may be too shy to ask. So, Mobley brings it up first. Mostly, though, the children are unfazed, he said. 

“I introduce my limb difference to them, and I let them know if there are any questions that they have, to never hesitate, so I can fully educate them about my differences,” he said.

Mobley said he’s excited to see the students grow as he takes on more responsibility in the classroom. 

“Working with students, I enjoy seeing their progression, seeing what they learn, seeing what they’re able to apply,” he said. “Over the years, hopefully I can encounter the students and see how they applied it to the real world. “ 

After graduation, Mobley plans to pursue his master’s degree at Mercer while starting his teaching career.  

“As I progress into the world of teaching, the impact that I want to have on the students is to allow them to see that, no matter what, they can go out into the real world and achieve their dreams,” he said. “Just reach for the stars. As I say, although my reach may be small, I can reach incredible things.”

a man born with shortened arms wears a striped shirt and stands in front of a a wall with colorful notecards on it
Adam Mobley. Photo by Bekah Howard


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Jennifer Falk is director of digital communications at Mercer. She edits and writes feature stories for The Den and examines web data and analytics to drive content decisions. She also creates and supervises the creation of content for primary University web pages and e-newsletters.