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Accidentally on Purpose: Falling in Love with Special Education

Posted by Brian Spence on Mar 20, 2017 8:00:00 AM

Special EducationPeople fall in love with things for different reasons. Perhaps you fell in love with your spouse because of their sense of humor or kindness towards others. Perhaps you fell in love with your job because you can influence people or work with computers. For Anna Vick, she fell in love with special education accidentally.

While she knew she'd be working with students as a teacher's assistant, Anna did not immediately know that she would be assigned to work in the special education classroom. Having a family member on the Autism spectrum, Anna was already aware of both the needs and special gift that individuals with disabilities possess.

However, she did not realize how much she would love working in the special education classroom until she was assisting in one.

Now a special educator herself, Anna is able to use creative techniques to teach her students. She plans her lessons around the different learning modalities as well as the individual needs and speed of each student. Finding inspiration through different teachers, various blogs, and websites, Anna says that she often plans her lessons backwards. She starts with the end goal in mind, working her way backwards to find a way to support her students in reaching that goal.

Anna encourages student participation and self-awareness by engaging their learning through videos and games. In an educational setting that tends to rely heavily on lectures or reading, Anna says through videos and games "They learn without even realizing it, and this has been a great way to reach students with serious emotional disabilities who might not be able to engage in a lecture/textbook teaching format."

Anna's quality work has led to an invitation to participate in the inaugural Colorado Teaching Policy Fellowship. As one of 15 educators involved, Anna will have input in discussions regarding state educational policy.

Read the rest of Anna's interview and be inspired by her story and passion for her students. If you're inspired to step out of your comfort zone and try a new career opportunity, you might just fall in love!


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Topics: Behavioral Health

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