斯蒂芬妮海狸 started taking 教育 classes in college, 但由于她家庭的一些变化, 她的经济状况发生了变化. “I decided to wait on completing my degree 和 choose a different career path that would be flexible 和 allow me to support myself,她说. She began working as a cosmetologist but also stayed involved in the field of 教育 by working as an elementary school paraprofessional 和 an administrative assistant for a middle school administrator. 因为她和丈夫有三个孩子, she became a stay-at-home mom 和 led her kids in h和s-on learning experiences.

“As a parent, you experience the world all over again through a child’s eyes,” Stephanie reflected. “我喜欢成为这种快乐和发现的一部分.” Stephanie has also enjoyed watching 和 assisting in the tremendous growth her children have made through early intervention 和 特殊教育 services to address their needs.

After her youngest child started kindergarten, Stephanie began to reflect on her career 和 wonder what her next step would be. In a Bible study class, she was struck by a question St. Paul asked in Acts 22:10 when he faced a turning point: “What shall I do, Lord?”

“That question rang in my head,” Stephanie comments. She prayed about it 和 kept returning to the idea of becoming a teacher. She had concerns—was this the right time in her life to go back to school? 这个时机对她的家庭来说合适吗?

她的丈夫帮助确认了她的愿望. “你一直想做这个,为什么不呢?他问道. Their youngest child was starting kindergarten, so having all three children in school full-time gave Stephanie an opportunity to pursue her own schooling without disrupting the family routine.

“Life is going to give us different challenges,” Stephanie remarked. “你要么被困住,要么向前推进. 我一直是一个“勇往直前”的人.”
Stephanie looked at a few different universities that offered 研究生-level 教育 programs, Immaculata脱颖而出. “It felt right; it felt like home. 工作人员回答了我的问题, 和 the process to enroll in the 教育 program was seamless,斯蒂芬妮回忆道. “It was the best fit—why did I even look at other schools?她想.

Stephanie began the coursework to become dual certified in 特殊教育PK-4教育 2020年1月. 2021年夏天,她将完成她的工作 M.A. 教育领导, which requires just four additional courses beyond the certification. Stephanie also plans to add a fifth 和 sixth grade certification this summer 和 begin her 阅读专家认证 在秋天.

去年新型冠状病毒肺炎大流行开始时, both Stephanie 和 her three children shifted to online learning at the same time. 因为她帮助孩子们做作业, she listened to their teachers 和 observed how they provided instruction as well as accommodations. Watching these teachers at work reinforced what Stephanie was learning in her 教育 courses at IU.

One of Stephanie’s favorite classes was Instructional Accommodations with Karen Miscavage, Ed.D., who explained an approach to teaching called universal design for learning (UDL). “When you plan for the few, you will teach the many,” Dr. Miscavage强调. 在这个模型中, teachers adapt their lesson plans not just for students with special needs, 但对全班来说. Most students learn better with simple accommodations such as looking at visual checklists on the board, using graphic organizers 和 taking “brain breaks.”

“所有学生都受益, 没有人被单独挑出来, 和 everyone has access to various learning strategies,斯蒂芬妮说.

In her Curriculum 和 Instruction course with Joe Corabi, Ed.D., Stephanie put the UDL method into practice by creating a presentation about how she would accommodate 和 assess a student with an individualized 教育 plan. 在她做了陈述之后. Corabi commented that her work was at a level he would have expected from a seasoned teacher, 而不是一个刚入行的人. “I have learned through my own children what they need, 现在我在应用这些知识, underst和ing 和 connection as both a parent 和 educator in the classroom,斯蒂芬妮说. 除了, she has found that observing her children’s teachers 和 how they addressed their students’ needs helped her apply what she had learned in her classes.

Stephanie appreciated the boost of confidence she received in Dr. Corabi的反馈. “那就是,‘是的,我明白了!’”她说.

After Stephanie completed her student teaching experience in an elementary school classroom, the school asked her to become a long-term substitute teacher in a fourth-grade classroom, 和 she plans to seek a full-time position 在秋天. 她所有的经历, with her children 和 her 教育 at Immaculata, have given her the sense of purpose 和 the skills to be an excellent teacher.


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