First, the Facts:
- I have been teaching for 22 years as an Intervention Specialist and parenting for almost 18 years (to a 17-year-old daughter and a 14-year-old son).
- I have worked with students at every grade level from kindergarten to 12th grade and a wide range of disabilities from severe multiple disabilities to mild learning disabilities.
- I have been a home instructor, tutor, self-contained classroom teacher, and an inclusion teacher. I have worked with at-risk high school students and was a class advisor for two years.
- I am a 1996 graduate of Ohio University with a B.S. in Special Education DH/SLD K-12.
- I completed my Master’s Degree in Curriculum Instruction in 2009 at the University of Phoenix.
- Currently, I teach 6th-8th grade as a Language Arts Intervention Specialist.
- Everyone has potential, but not everyone has someone who believes in them.
- Everyone deserves a chance, or two, or three.
- Everyone can change, but they have to want to.
- Everything has value – negative or positive.
- Everything you do affects others in some way – negatively or positively.
- Everything works itself out in time.
- There is always another (and probably better) way to do something.
- There is always tomorrow.
- There is a quote for everything.
I took this picture at a nature center just outside of town. The kids and I go every summer and this bridge is a favorite photo spot. For someone who has a fear of heights, seemingly dangerous situations, and getting hurt, crossing this suspension bridge each year requires a lot of courage. As I was looking through my photo albums for the perfect image for this blog, I knew this was “the one.”
For a large portion of my life, I was surrounded by walls. Some walls were built by others and some walls I built all by myself. I see a lot of students who have walls as well….emotional walls, cultural barriers, ability and learning differences, and circumstances that make life seem almost impossible. These walls can keep them from accessing the things they need to have a successful, independent, happy life.
I have had enough success with enough students (and myself) to know that walls can come down and life can be so much more than you thought possible.
Walls represent being scared, being alone, and being stuck where you are.
Bridges represent being brave, making connections, and moving forward with your life.