September 2013 Teacher of the Month

Individuality.  That's what Diana Gleason focuses most on with her special needs students at Paradise Valley Elementary. 

"We focus, we pin point specific needs that each child has and then we individualize the instruction to meet those specific needs," says Diana Gleason.  

"Diana has 18 students.  On her case load she is individualize for each one of those kids - reading, writing, math, maybe social skills.  And that's a lot of lesson plans to write and to make sure you're meeting each one of those kids needs!" says Natrona County Special Education Coordinator Lori Cetak. 

One of Diana's current students, Sully Hoover has made tremendous improvement thanks to Diana's individual teaching style.  

"Watching him change his personality and his growth in himself, being able to do things independently, and be able to look people in the eye and have conversations.  So it's not a giant whole group in working with the kids.  No matter how many kids are in the room I need to work on each one of their individual needs and build those skills and then move on," says Diana.  

Over the last year Diana has watched her students including Sully transition from having trouble being around people to being the star of the show!  On one hand her coworkers appreciate her consistent willingness to be better...

"And she's just been so willing to take what's been suggested and use it or modify it to work for her kids.  And it really shows!  They are thriving in her classroom!"  says Lori. 

But at the end of the day the kids are immediately drawn to one thing...

"She likes to smile!" says Sully.

With your Setember Teacher of the Month, I am Brittany Moore - K2 News.