Today’s Feature Friday is highlighting Keisha Wilson, she is a special education teacher in Utah. Her students range from 1st-5th grade and are considered medically fragile. She covers all subjects, reading, writing, math, science, social studies, art, music, social skills, as well as life skills.
What is your favorite thing about teaching this age/subject?
“I love teaching students with special needs. There can be challenges that are unique to our setting and the challenge I enjoy. These children can learn and grow just like their typical peers and having a belief in them makes my job possible. I love helping these students discover that they can do things is a wonderful thing. They grow in their beliefs in themselves and they are so excited to learn and be treated as a normal student and that is what I strive for. The other thing that is so amazing about these students is helping them learn how to communicate. They are so excited to be understood and communicate their wants and needs.”
What made you want to go into teaching?
“I have always had a love of children and working with children with special needs. I have had many small experiences that pushed me towards special education. I had this job fall into my lap and it has driven many of my decisions since. Teaching is a passion of mine and it has been something that found me, not I found it.”
What is one of your favorite ways to utilize technology in the classroom?
“We use alternative communication technology which is the most utilized and best technology in my classroom. Things like switches, eye gaze computers, scanning computers, and Ipads. All of these things give my students a voice because they are unable to use their physical voice.”
If you could recommend one children’s book, what would it be and why?
“If You Give A Mouse A Cookie. There are so many simple principles and elements that can be taught from that story.”
What is a big challenge you face often in teaching, and how do you overcome it?
“Because of the severity of the disabilities that our children have there are daily obstacles that we have to overcome. I think that the biggest that we do is that my students are non-verbal. We use alternate communication methods to talk to our students. They have eye gaze computers, scanning switches, and vision boards for the kiddos to talk.”
What do you wish someone would have told you in your first year teaching?
“I wish I would have known that teachers are basically always behind. That being caught up in paperwork and grading is probably not going to happen and that is okay. It is also something that I love because it means that I will never be bored at work.”
Mrs. Wilson is such a patient teacher and her co-workers have raved about how great she is with her students. She sees their needs and meets them where they need it. There is so much from her interview we can all learn from.