I began my career working with infants and children at a neighborhood daycare center. Many of the children with whom I worked were considered at risk toddlers because of the parents' social economic level. I also worked with young children who had physical, cognitive and mental disabilities. I stopped working with the children to raise my own family. I returned to education once my children were in school. I taught children with severe to moderate cognitive deficits, those who had language delays and those who had been diagnosed as having mental health issues. I provided a safe environment for the children and the parents. Many of the children were incorrectly identified but the parents felt helpless in advocating for their children. Part of their inadequacies was due to their own inability to read or write in any language, coupled with their feelings of being intimidated by the education system. I helped my parents navigate through the plethora of obstacles that they encountered. I guided and supported them through the "special education" process. I accompanied them during the summer to the meetings at the district offices to change the service category of the child so that his or her needs could be met in the proper program. I also helped parents gain an understanding of their child's disability through conducting informal education sessions in the beginning of the school year. My supervisor told me that I was a good teacher but a great advocate for the children.
While being employed with NYC Administration for Children's Services, (ACS), I was sent to all of the agency's educational seminars because of my background. I returned to the unit and disseminated the information to my colleagues and supervisors. I also advocated for the families throughout my tenure with ACS. There was a pattern of the education community to report allegations of neglect because a child was having difficulty in school, (usually they wanted the child evaluated for special education services but the parent was reluctant or afraid), I helped the parent understand the process and worked with them through the evaluation period.
I work well with others. I am respectful and am a good instructor. I have instructed new and veteran teachers on working with children with special needs. I have the ability to conduct a full task analysis to better convey the tasks that must be done.
With respect to traveling, most of my jobs required extensive traveling to different sites and locations. I enjoy a change of environment.
Finally, I am a mother who has successfully raised seven children. Three of those children received services because of dyslexia and two were gifted. There were challenges with them all. Even with my background and training, I was made to feel inadequate and I had to advocate for my children. They are all in college.
Psychology of Learning
Language and Learning
Health Issues in Education
Special Education birth to adult
English as a Second Language
Special Education Laws
United Federation of Teachers
AFSCME District Council 37
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