Life experience leads Katie to special education
Katie knows she wants to teach special education after she graduates.
“I like teaching special education because you get to work in a smaller group,” she said. “This gives you more one-on-one time with them, which lets you focus on giving them the best education possible.”
Katie felt inspired by both her brother (who took special education classes) and a young boy she started baby sitting in middle school.
She loved helping him learn, and said the experience was very rewarding.
“Getting to watch him grow and seeing the little milestones was amazing,” she said. “When I first started, we had trouble communicating because he couldn’t speak audibly. So we tried different things, including pointing on an Ipad. It was the coolest thing when he said my name.”
Katie worked with him until her junior year of high school when her family moved from Washington D.C. to Des Moines, Iowa. Even though she was no longer teaching him, Katie found other ways to help special needs kids.
“I helped out at a summer camp and found other families who needed help caring for their kids with behavioral disorders,” she said. “This was before I started college.”
Knowing what she wanted before starting Iowa State has helped Katie focus her education around her future goals. She looks forward to her future practicums and hopes to work in the public school system someday.
“I love the Des Moines public school system,” she said. “I want to work there, but I’m open to whatever is available. As long as I’m teaching special needs, I’ll be happy.”