Teachers Change Lives at:
I became a special education teacher because working with students with special needs brings me so much joy. In high school I took an exploratory class called “Peer Facilitation.” I was not exactly sure what to expect, but I signed up. It turned out to be a blessing and the highlight of my high school years. In the class I spent an hour each day helping and participating with the special education class in P.E. I formed such amazing bonds with each of the students and I felt such joy being with them amid all the pressures of high school. That was when a seed was planted.
Once I got to college the idea of being a special education teacher came to fruition. Though as a beginning teacher I get anxious and unsure, the joy and pure love I receive from working with the students supersedes all insecurities I face.
Mathews Elementary School, Midland, Georgia
Raised in poverty by an immigrant family, statistics claim that I should never have graduated from high school, let alone moved on to earn bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in the geological sciences. After teaching at the college level for years, I became a student again, this time to earn a second masters in Inclusive Adolescent Education. All of my teachers opened the world to me. They taught me to believe in myself, and showed me how to fly higher than I ever dreamed possible.
Now I teach Earth Science at Monroe-Woodbury High School to students with disabilities. My students are bright and innovative. Yet due to their struggles with learning, they often lack faith in their own abilities. To pass on the gifts given to me, I teach to lift souls, to help my students find their wings, and to show them how to reach beyond their dreams.
Margaret Brewer-LaPorta, M.S., M.S.T., Ph.D.
Special Education Earth Science
Monroe-Woodbury High School, Central Valley, N.Y.
Pace University graduate. The program received an OSEP-funded grant:
84.325T: Special Education Preservice Program Improvement Grants