I am proud to be the first Special Education Teacher in Oregon to be named Teacher of the Year! My curriculum is a variety of adapted subject matter, fun activities, room decorations and art projects aimed at multiple levels of skills and grades--many regular curriculum topics and activities are included. I am proud to be the first Special Education teacher columnist for The Teaching Channel and often link to free downloads on Teacher Pay Teacher. My thinking is why spend a blog telling my co-teachers how to make something when I can share the work I've already done?! If you want to ask questions live, I host #GlobalSPED Live/SlowChat on Twitter. This live chat is the only international Special Education/Inclusion (and what teacher ISN'T and inclusion teacher these days?) meeting place on the web and we take great pride in being a support for new teachers around the globe!
I love to use small and quick art projects to end a school day with success. My background is working with students with special needs, medical fragility and emotional disturbances. I love using art to bring success to every student no matter what their skill level.
2014 Oregon State Teacher of the Year, 2014 White House Honors, 2015 National Educator of Excellence Award- National Education Association Foundation, 2019 MUGU International Foundation Education Global E-Innovator Award, 2015 Teacher Role Model Award-NEA LGBT Caucus, 2015 NEA Foundation Global Fellow Peru, 2019 South Africa, 2013 Outstanding Special Education Teacher of the Year-National Association of Special Education Teachers, 2014 Bob Speltz Community Service Award-Q Center, 2014 Community Champion in Education-PHAME, 2012 National Neighborhood Hero Award-Bank of America, 2012 OnPoint Prize Finalist, 2014 Named a Kentucky Colonel by the Governor of Kentucky, 2014 Oregon Education Association Presidential Citation, Member National Network of State Teachers of the Year, Essay published in the book "One Teacher in Ten" 2015
Bachelor of Science Speech and Communication, Oregon State University, Masters of Special Education, Portland State University
I have made over 250 appearances as Teacher of the Year and have travelled over 100,000 miles since winning the award. I am honored to have been asked to speak at so many events and love every opportunity to inspire the community and other educators. During my career as a teacher I began to make field trip guides to help autistic students attend social events outside of school. I called these books "Ability Guidebooks" and put them online for other teachers and families to use. In the years since I have written over 170 Ability Guidebooks for over 40 countries and they appear in six languages. As always the books are free online at my blog with the hope they help open doors for people around the globe!
English Language Arts, Creative Writing, Reading, Vocabulary, Specialty, Math, Numbers, Other (Math), Science, Anatomy, Archaeology, Astronomy, Earth Sciences, Environment, Social Studies - History, Ancient History, Native Americans, U.S. History, World History, Middle Ages, World Language, Spanish, Arts & Music, Art History, Visual Arts, Graphic Arts, Physical Education, Special Education, EFL - ESL - ELD, Health, Architecture, British History, Life Skills, For All Subject Areas, Classroom Management, Queer Studies, Character Education, General Science, Library Skills, Writing, Robotics, Asian Studies, Holidays/Seasonal, Back to School, Thanksgiving, Christmas/ Chanukah/ Kwanzaa, Poetry, Autumn, Halloween, Speech Therapy, Winter, Valentine's Day, Easter, Spring, Earth Day, For All Subjects, Early Intervention, Classroom Community