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Graduation Speech : Students With Disabilities

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It may sound cliché, but I was born to teach students with disabilities. Growing up, I had the best example to follow. My mother actively taught special education for 31 years and seeing her interaction with students created a passion in me to do the same thing. Even at a young age, it was evident that I wanted to be a teacher: from forcing my younger brother to sit still and play “school” with me, to spending my free time volunteering in special needs classrooms during middle and high school.
As I grew older, I began to realize that students with disabilities have many significant obstacles to overcome. Seeing them get excited about learning things that we take for granted provided me with the desire to become part of their learning. For example, one kindergartner with Down Syndrome struggled daily to learn how to write the first letter of her name. It was such a joy for all of those involved when she finally succeeded. Working with these students furthered my resolve to not only fulfill my childhood dream of becoming a teacher, but I soon realized that special education is my niche. After 13 years of teaching in Glynn County, I still teach with the same fervor and enthusiasm as the first day I formally stepped into a classroom. My principal once said, “Teaching is not a job. It’s a profession.” I wholeheartedly believe in this philosophy. Education was never a back-up plan or alternative for me; being a teacher is who I am. As a special educator, I strive to
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