Life Skills Radio Ep.02: First Year Adventures in Teaching

First Year Adventures in Teaching

Jennifer Russell is an education specialist for the Early Childhood Special Education team here at the Education Service Center Region 13.

In this episode host Jennifer Russell talks with Katie Adams, educational specialist in PPCD, and Elizabeth Danner, Transition Specialist, as they discuss their first year adventures in teaching, navigating professional relationships, planning their lessons, and tears, oh so many tears.

Audio Transcript

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Jennifer Russell:
Hey everybody. Welcome to LifeSkills Radio. I’m your host, Jennifer Russell, and today we have with us education specialist Katie Adams. She is a specialist in PPCD and we also have Elizabeth Danner who is a transition specialist. Today we’re going to be talking about those first few weeks of teaching, or the first year of teaching. We know that, that’s a challenge for everybody that goes into this field. So Katie, let’s start and just talk about you. Tell me a little bit about why you got into education and what you’re doing now.

Katie Adams: 
Thanks for having me, Jennifer. Yeah, I’ve been an SLP, a Speech Language Pathologist for about 13 years now. How I got into the field. I actually am a person who stutters and when I went to college, my professor was a individual who stuttered and I went down to him after the lecture and said, “How are you doing this? This is unreal.” And he basically said, “You too can be an SLP. And I really think that this might be something that you can use to help other people as well.” So that’s how I got into the field. I was inspired by someone else. So what I do now is, I’m one of the the preschool specialists here, so help educate teachers of children with disabilities, aged three to five and I love it. So it’s really fun.

Jennifer Russell:
Awesome. What about you? Elizabeth tell us a little bit about your story.

Elizabeth Danner:
Well, my story is far less noble. I came to special education to get out of gym class in eighth grade. My middle school had a special school next door that was for students with significant cognitive disabilities. And this was back in the 80’s. And some of you may remember the shorts with the piping and the polyester and-

Katie Adams: 
Oh yeah.

I was not a fan and I was not a fan of gym class and they said that you could get out of gym class to volunteer at the school next door one day a week. And I said, “Sign me up. I don’t care what it is, I’ll do it.” And got there. And I worked with the four and five year olds. I was in the classroom with some little kiddos and they were so cute, and it was just such a different way to think about the world. It was a blast and there was a great teacher in the room and just really great time. Then I went on and then eventually started my career in the classroom. And so now I am the transition specialist at the service center…

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Jennifer Russell is an education specialist for the Early Childhood Special Education team here at the Education Service Center Region 13.

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