• Sabrina Charles Wins A 2013 Blackboard Award For Teachers

    PS 3 Special Education Teacher For Grades K-2

    By Chrissy Makris

    What are some of the key joys and challenges of being a special education teacher.

    I find joy in observing the academic, social, and emotional progress of my students from the beginning to the end of a school year. Getting my class to follow class routines and rules is also a great feeling. Trying to meet the special needs of students of mixed classification is a challenge. I also find it challenging at times to conduct lessons and monitor variation of distractible behaviors.

    Tell us about any special projects or initiatives you are most proud of this year. 

    I am most proud of my author study unit this year on Eric Carle, which expanded across all content areas of students’ curriculum. For this unit, I used a variety of resources and material to help attract, engage, and motivate my students to learn. For example, students who had difficulty reading but were able to understand the goal of the lesson had access to audio Eric Carle literature and participated in arts and crafts pertaining to the lesson. Students who had difficulties sitting at their seat for a lengthy amount of time to complete an assignment were able to learn the same lesson on a trip to the library—listening to a read-aloud or engaging in an Eric Carle activity on the SMART Board.

    Over the course of your career, what do you consider some of your greatest accomplishments to date?

    I believe two of my greatest accomplishments are organizing my small group instructions according to my students’ capabilities and utilizing the SMART Board more in my lessons, which has helped many of my students become voluntary active participants during group instructions.

    What drives you and keeps you motivated to continue your hard work as a teacher on a daily basis?

    The joy on my students’ faces when they get to that point of discovering their capabilities is a huge motivation for me. For example, one of my students who struggled with reading is now reading an A-level book with minimal assistance. After reading his book, he grins with pride and runs to tell me what he has done. As students overcome some of their struggles and difficulties, I gain victory as a teacher.

    For more information about the Blackboard Awards, visit blackboardawards.com

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