I work for a district that provides all special education services. The partner school district I teach in, does not have a racial majority. We primarily have students who are Hispanic, African-American and Caucasian and we have barriers to learning. We use a grant to provide breakfast and lunch to all students. We are an at-risk school academically, despite gains we've made. The majority of our school population has experienced significant trauma-and then COVID-19 changed everything.
I teach students with social-emotional learning needs with varying mental health issues, many untreated medically.
I have been a special educator for twenty-five years and I'm not anywhere near finished! I graduated from this school district and model lifelong learning for my students. I have a Bachelor's degree in elementary and special education, a Master's Education Specialist and Doctoral degrees in educational administration and leadership.
This is my dream job and I love coming to school everyday. It breaks my heart to be away from my kids right now! I worry about their well being because for some, home is not the best place to be. Despite the skills I bring, I need more tools to support kids, teachers and administrators.
The moment I discovered the globally recognized Student Mental Health Specialist certification program, I recognized it's value. I have been sharing with colleagues and seeking out support to champion this cause ever since. I am doing everything in my power to make this dream a reality! To truly serve students who enter school with adverse circumstances, ongoing training and professional development is a must. As soon as "Gettin' My Teach On: Student Mental Health" is funded, I will begin working on the 14-hour program toward Student Mental Health Specialist certification with completion shortly thereafter.
"Gettin' My Teach On: Student Mental Health" will help me go above and beyond to build upon my knowledge base and integrity to become the best teacher I can for my students and school teams as I support them with compassion and understanding.
I will be able to acquire current best practices and strategies to support teams across my school. This program will help me become an expert in meeting the social-emotional learning needs of my students. Additionally, these highly specialized learning activities will make it possible for me to facilitate optimal learning conditions for students with mental health issues and social-emotional learning needs across our school. The tools and knowledge I gain will be put to work on day one to support kids, teachers and administrators.
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