Lynn Lamberson, Perth Amboy Pre-School Inclusion for Four-Year-Olds
“I am a regular ed teacher but I teach inclusion, so I have three special needs children along with 12 regular ed in the classroom. I always wanted to be a teacher to help kids since I was a little girl. I always had good experiences in school, and I always had good teachers. My most memorable teacher was my 5th grade teacher, one of my only male teachers. He thought way ahead of his time. He had unique ideas. We would have mazes and have races with them. We had a rummage sale, where we brought things from home and sold our stuff to each other. On Fridays we would go in front of the school with kazoos by the flag and play a song and shoot off a cannon; you know, things you probably couldn’t do anymore! He was very outside of the box for his time.
“I enjoy making my classroom fun for my preschoolers. If you’re not having fun, then learning is just harder. My biggest goal for my students is to be independent, and I work a lot on their social needs. To be able to regulate their behavior, solve problems, solve conflicts, and take initiative in the classroom are my biggest goals for the year.
“In my classroom they learn about other people that are different from them. I had a child who was non-verbal last year, so the students learned how to communicate with him without him using words. I use a variety of teaching methods for the students, which really helps everyone. I have fun building relationships with them. I think I am the only one in my whole school where my kids are on a scooter while we go to the playground. Nobody else does that.
“I am continuously learning so I can always improve as a teacher. There are so many resources online that I can use on my own time. I like to listen to online conferences, and teaching groups online where everyone is giving suggestions and ideas, and is a supportive community.
“My favorite memories are seeing kids make progress, especially when a child is really low or needs a lot of help in the beginning, whether it was academically, or behaviorally, and see the change in them at the end of the year.”
Article and photo by Gregory Andrus. To see more of his work, go to www.potjs.com.