Get to know some of our employees who are making a difference for Delaware
Position: Teacher, Special Education
Agency: Department of Services for Children, Youth & Their Families (DSCYF)
What's a typical day like for you?
My day starts off with planning by making sure that all the things for my lesson plan are gathered together and that I have all the resources and materials I need.
We follow a typical day that you would see in most schools. I go over math. I go over writing. I go over reading. Students have specials such as art and physical education throughout the day. And, we also have time in our computer lab.
For each student that comes in my classroom we set specialized academic goals for them and all of my students meet their goals. Not necessarily as quickly as we want them to because there is a variety of circumstances that may prohibit or inhibit that sometimes. But I know I'm successful when my students meet their goals.
Do you think you make a difference in the lives of these youth?
When they leave and I get telephone calls saying thank you for assisting me with this academic goal. When we hear that they are being successful once they leave the Terry Center and go back to their home schools. That is success to me. So, I do believe I make a difference.
What do you find most challenging about your job?
One of the most challenging things about the job is really working with the students. Sometimes they come in with really low self-esteem. They haven't really been successful in school. So it's really trying to boost their self-confidence to make them know that they are worthy - that they do have support and that they can be successful.
Sometimes students come in with the lack of coping skills. You might see more tantrums. You might have students become more physically aggressive with peers or even with teachers or other support staff that's in the building. So that can be a little bit challenging when working with students to kind of get over that hump to where they can realize that you know what, I'm kind of here to stay so let's make the best out of it. But sometimes that can be a little difficult when you're working with the students.
Why did you choose this career?
I chose a career working with troubled youth because I know that's where our community needs the most help. I've always felt as though I have the skills to really connect with students and to really be their biggest cheerleader. It definitely requires a lot of patience. It requires a lot of ability to put yourself in someone else's shoes. So being empathetic, being compassionate. Obviously you need to have the education behind it. That way they can have the skill sets to be able to present the information to the students in a way they can benefit from and making sure that this is the job they want and they're going to take it seriously, because lives are involved and the students deserve the best that a person can give.