Nikki Spire's Classroom

Why I Want to Be a Special Education Teacher

Teaching is my passion. I chose to become a special education teacher to improve the lives of children with special needs. Special Education has been around me my entire life because I have a sister who has cerebral palsy and mental retardation. While she now lives at Misericordia Home, she spent many years in special education programs. It is partly because of my sister's education that I decided to become a special education teacher.

I have also worked for several summers as a camp counselor for individuals with special needs at Sunrise Day Camp through the Northwest Special Recreation Association. My campers had a variety of needs, including individuals with different degrees of autism, some with Down syndrome, one that was wheel chair bound, and a camper that was blind. Being raised with a sibling with a disability and working at a camp has taught me to be very patient with individuals with special needs. I am also a very dedicated worker and willing to devote the time as well as effort needed for this work. I am comfortable working with people with disabilities as I have done that my whole life.

My teaching philosophy is to help students reach their highest potential so they may be able to use their disability as a gift in society. In my classroom I will stress positive encouragement. I firmly believe that students can do more when they and their teacher have a positive attitude. I believe in programs like Nurtured Heart which encourage students through positive reinforcements.

I know that classrooms need structure and procedures. I believe that I have the organizational and classroom management skills necessary to create an effective learning environment.

I believe that I will be an asset to any school because of my enthusiasm for helping students with special needs, my understanding and acceptance of their situation, and the knowledge that they can succeed with the help of good teachers. I intend on being the very best of teachers.