A Salute to Special Education Teachers

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A Salute to Special Education Teachers

Aiden McAvoy

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Amazing teachers like Mrs. Casterline, Mrs. O’Brien, Mrs. Hoback, and Mrs. Boyd work with kids with disabilities like Autism and Down’s Syndrome to become self-reliant adults.  Teachers like this are one of the reasons students with disabilities get their voices heard.  The Roar wondered what inspired these teachers to go into the field of special education, so we ventured out and asked them.

Here is what they said:

“I have a sister who has a disability and I helped teach her, which gave me the desire to help others.””

— Ellie Casterline

Mrs. Hoback commented that she wanted to make a difference, that she “ wanted to give a voice to students who usually don’t have one.”

Mrs. O’Brien says that she “loves to work with students, and Special Education allows an opportunity to get to know students; to listen and talk with them.”

Mrs. Casterline said, “I have a sister who has a disability and I helped teach her, which gave me the desire to help others.”

Mrs. Boyd says, “I never planned on being a special ed teacher, but… I couldn’t [be] happier.”

When asked what they like most about their job, teachers had positive, enthusiastic responses.  Teachers commented about the rewards of teaching and getting to know students with disabilities.

Mrs. Hoback explained, “I love [the] students; they are so unique and just amazing.”

Mrs. O’Brien continued by saying, “I love hearing the students’ stories; they are always interesting,”  And also, “[I] am still able to mold them.”

And, Mrs. Casterline says she simply just “loves the kids.”

Each class, students get to demonstrate their unique talents and skills.  Classes are structured to accommodate each individual student, based on their needs, learning preferences, and abilities.  The curriculum is structured to allow for freedom of expression and exploration with an emphasis on students strengths and preferences.  Some students are very good with computers, while others cook very well.  Each class offers students unique opportunities to shine and enjoy learning in a positive and nurturing environment.

What makes it all “gel”?  Teachers all noted that it is the love of the students.  Undoubtedly, special education teachers possess unique skill sets for instructing, guiding, and modeling that ensure all students receive a fair and equitable education.