A New Experience–Going to High School!

This spring I have had the privilege to work as a paraprofessional in the Special Education Department at Summit High School. I have always found my niche in the elementary and middle school levels since I began my teaching career. I went into this experience with excitement and a little bit of apprehension. This was new for me…being a teacher figure at the high school level. I have to say that the welcoming and supportive staff made my first day and every day after enjoyable. The students, like the elementary students I most recently worked with, welcomed me in as well and begin looking to me for advice, instruction, and direction. I was humbled when it became evident that some of the content (e.g. Precalculus and Chemistry) are subjects that I should retake in their entirety to be a more valuable resource!


The main “take away” from this experience  is that we (teachers, paraprofessionals, support staff, administration, parents, community members, etc.) are a team that spans from Kindergarten through 12th grade (and beyond). As a true team we need to work together to support every student who walks our hallways and travels our streets. What is established and reinforced through the years has its ultimate culmination when these students graduate. It is a huge investment. One that each student, teacher, parent, tutor, grandparent, sibling, relative, friend, and community must make in each and every Kindergarten through 12th grade student. Yes we may feel that one year (or maybe even less) is a small investment in the whole scheme of things but that one year can propel a student on to achieve bigger and better things the following year. Even a single interaction can have a long lasting impact on a person. These students are learning new things academically, emotionally, and socially every day. We need to support them as a whole person and help them develop each area equally. Focusing simply on academics will not suffice if a student just went through an emotional upheaval or are facing social challenges on a daily basis. We, like our students, cannot afford to be singularly minded but we can show them how to balance all aspects of life and continue to grow and develop all aspects of their character.