Why I Teach: Paraeducator to Interagency Coordination Specialist

National Teacher Appreciation Week, May 8–12, 2023

This Teacher Appreciation Week, a few Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) Scholars who completed their degree programs with support from a Personnel Development to Improve Services for Children with Disabilities (ALN 84.325) discretionary grant administered by the Office of Special Education Programs shared “Why I Teach.”

Dana Page, Ph.D.

By: Dana Page, Ph.D.

I began my career in special education in 2006 as a long-term paraeducator. I was hired full time the following school year and worked as a paraeducator for many years before becoming a certified teacher. I taught students with emotional/behavioral disorders and loved it!

I also noticed how there weren’t many teachers who looked like me in the school building let alone the district. I wanted that to change as well as the disparities within special education related to the intersectionality of disability and race/ethnicity. This prompted me to pursue my doctoral degree at the University of Louisville where I received an OSEP Leadership Grant.

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