An Interview With Ms.Ross

By Julissa S.Lira

Meet Ms.Ross And Her Amazing Students!

What inspired Ms.Ross to teach Special Education?

When she was 12, her mother was pregnant with her little sister, the doctors had said that her sister might have Down syndrome. This sparked Ms.Ross's interest in Special Education, she started to learn about Down Syndrome along with subjects related to it such as: Autism, ADHD, Emotional and mental disorders, Speech Impairment, OHI (other health impairments), VI (vision impairment) and many more. Even after, her sister didn't have Down syndrome she kept up with her studies.

She studied mental disabilities and volunteered to help out in Special Education classes during her high school years. She graduated from The Unversity of Mary Hardin-Baylor and received her bachelors degree in Special Education. She teaches a variety of subjects such as: English, History, and Community Based Instruction. Ms. Ross teaches freshman to seniors but in separate periods, I believe.

Ms. Ross's Classroom

While I was in her classroom, I noticed how colorful and comfortable it was. The amtsophere alone comforted anyone who enters the room. Ms. Ross's classroom was tidy, well-organized and a comfortable place to be in. The desks were aligned perfectly, posters on the wall, banners laid on top of white boards, and nice cubbies for the students to place their possessions.

Ms. Ross allows her students to eat lunch in class and they clean up their messes up afterwards. If a student is behaving or helps his/ or her classmate, they are rewarded with positive behavior tickets. They have routines, which is proved to be very helpful to her students and why they are also calm in her classroom. In the beginning of the year, they had created a social contract, which they follow the rules obediently.

Ms. Ross teaches freshman classes to seniors, she teaches a variety of subjects, but her favorite class is Community Based Instruction because she gets to know her students more and their interest in their future career choices. She puts around 70 hours per week in her teaching and planning.

When I had asked her: " On a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the highest, how much self-motivation is needed in this job?" She responds with, "nine."

Ms.Ross has teaching strategies to allow her students to have fun and learn at the same time. For history, they watch Student CNN new and read articles about history. She asks them questions to see if they understand the topic and helps them out when they need it. They also create current news for history class. She explained and discussed with her students about what they're learning, and she includes everyone and allows them to speak about the subject. When they work on worksheets, they work together to answer the questions and sometimes they work individually. She says she prefers them to work on project-based instructions and to create something since they're very hands-on, meaning the students like to learn through creating something. If her students misbehave, which is rare, she redirects them or helps them express their emotions.

Ms.Ross's biggest challenges as a teacher are: staying organized and teaching individuals of the best way. However, Ms.Ross's rewards as a teacher is seeing her student's growth and their independence. She believes watching them improve over time is the biggest reward of all. She tries to make class fun by making her class interactive and watching videos with them on their subject.

Ms.Ross's students are very welcoming, kind, and helpful. They clean their classroom voluntarily and without being asked to. They are very hard-working and enjoy being in class. They're always smiling or laughing during class and are attentive when learning. The students all get along with each other and are respectful to anyone who enters the classroom. When I asked her if she was proud of her students, she responded with, "Everyday."

Julissa S.Lira

Interviewed Ms.Ross during 5th period and observed her classroom