I spent decades successfully climbing the ladder in the garment business/retailing, working with young staff that told me I should be a teacher because I was so patient & understanding of their learning disabilities. I went to college as a freshman (age 54) & on for my Masters in Special Education. I have been at the same school for the last 7 years in the Bronx working with Emotionally Disturbed students. I tutor many students at their local library to help them catch up, understand what is being taught in a different way, study skills, as well as preparing them for the New York State test.
Many call me their "school mom, or grandma." I work hard to let them know that I care about them, respect them, & want to be there for them. I have even taken in students as official foster children after going through the proper training & certification process. They say I have a huge heart. I just want to be there for students, to show them respect, give them confidence to get through the difficult school years. I have moved to FL to be near my one-year-old grandson. While that is exciting beyond belief, I know that I cannot sit still when I can be helpful to young students who are the future of this country. My students gave me a tee-shirt that says '100 years from now no one will remember what kind of house you lived in, what kind of car you drove, or the clothes you wore. But if you touch the life of a child you will be remembered forever.' I would like to think they were right so I must keep giving as much of myself to help others as I can.
Since I am learning disabled I have some understanding of the challenges that hinders the learning process. I am not one who just labels a child & pulls out a lesson plan to have us follow. There are so many different approaches or combinations to use when working with students. I have been through the system where a lesson plan is written & followed, never alternating from it. Instead I go by the student's IEP (individual educational plan), how they react to the stimuli that they are presented with, & their ability to stay focused for the best outcome for all.
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