TEACHER OF THE YEAR
Ms. Glenda Smith
I was raised in a home that taught me to love, take care of, and to appreciate simple things in life. I learned the value of working hard for what you want in life. You have to “earn” what you receive because not many things are handed to you. During my childhood I faced difficulties and it wasn’t perfect, I value the lessons I learned. These life lessons taught me how to get through difficult times.
Becoming a mother was my introduction to teaching. I had the amazing responsibility of raising a beautiful baby girl born with “special needs”. Of course, like any parent, I wanted my child to have the best education possible in spite of her differences. Raising her was what started me on the path to becoming a “Special Education” teacher. I also am helping raise a “special needs” granddaughter. She and her mother still live with me today.
I am a Special Education teacher at Liberty Elementary. There are five different grade levels that are in my classroom at once. They range from three years old to nine years old under such categories of: Intellecutual Disabilities, Emotional Disturbance, Autism, Deaf-Blind, Multiple Disabilities and more. Each of my 14 students has an Individualized Education Plan (IEP). My job in the classroom is to help each one meet their individualized goals. I believe that all students deserve an organized, safe, flexible classroom and must have LOVE, COMPASSION and loads and loads of PATIENCE! I use a variety of teaching techniques to engage the tactile-kinesthetic, auditory, and visual learner.
I believe it takes a lot of support to run a Special Education classroom efficiently. I am very thankful for paraprofessionals, regular teachers, and parents for helping me and our “special needs” students at Liberty. Without their support my job would be very difficult.
My philosophy of teaching is that “All Children Can Learn”! It doesn’t matter what disabilities they may have, they are all “special” to me. I look at them and treat them like I want the world to treat my daughter and granddaughter, smart, beautiful and CAPABLE.