My name is Jane Newman and I am the multi-handicapped classroom teacher at East Boston High School. I have been teaching for 6 years at East Boston High School. I attended Wheelock College and have a Bachelor's and a Master's Degree in Special Education.
The students in my classroom range from grades 9 through12 and they are my main priority. They have needs and wants that are unique and have to be tended to individually. The students in my classroom are verbal, non-verbal and some have physical impairments. My goal for myself is to continue to learn from my students. My goal for my students' are to learn basic life skills and school based curriculum and have fun while doing it.
One of the highlights of my career was watching my student "J" who is non-verbal and confined to a wheel chair receiving her new augmentative communication device. This augmentative communication device enables her to speak using an eye gaze system that is calibrated to her own eyes. She is able to hit an icon on the screen and this icon speaks for her. By the second week of her having this system, she mastered this system as if she had it her whole life. I went over to her and asked her if I could look for a particular screen and she gave me the "okay" (the usual arching of the eyebrow for "yes"). I could not find the screen and finally I backed away with a confused/frustrated look on my face. She laughed and the next thing you know, there was the screen I had been looking for within a matter of seconds. I think we laughed for a good 2 minutes! It is moments like this where I have to take a step back and smile and say, "Yes, I do learn from my students and boy does it feel fantastic !"