Eileen Goddard from Duplin County is the Teacher Of The Week for Wednesday, October 24.
While she is based out of Wallace Elementary School, she travels throughout Duplin County every day providing services for hearing impaired students from Preschool through Grade 12.
Eileen writes: I have spent many hours and days driving all over the county to ensure that my hearing impaired students are afforded the same opportunities as any other students in the county. I have been a teacher, mentor, nurse, counselor, “assistant” volleyball coach, shoulder to cry on, cheerleader, nervous observer, proud “mama”, advocate, IEP writer, caregiver, friend, and supporter to my fellow teachers, parents, but most of all my students. Once I became a teacher for my students, I would always be a teacher for these students since I follow most of them throughout their school years and beyond. I still hear from my former students with questions or seeking advice and am proud to say nearly every student I have taught has graduated and gone onto post-secondary education and/or a job. Despite the fact that my students are from a low incidence population and a variety of cognitive abilities, they have a place in this world and a job to do. For me, they have helped me to see the world in a different way and to teach outside the box. I think part of the reason I am good at what I do is that not only do I LOVE it, but I think like my “kids” and put myself in their shoes. Would I want to do this activity? Would I want to sit there and listen to this lesson? Isn’t there a better and/or more interesting way to learn this? I am willing to go the extra mile and figure out an unconventional way to strive for comprehension and eventually independent application. That’s not to say every day is not a challenge and/or frustrating, but at the end I have to sit down and be willing to re-evaluate what worked today, what didn’t, and what can I change. My students have heard me say more than once: “As long as I’m breathing, you ARE graduating high school.” It doesn’t matter how long the journey takes. For some of my students, it is a LONG, HARD journey, but I remind them that it is all about crossing the finish line and not always about who gets there first. After 25 years of teaching, I have learned that if you will treat each “kid” as your own, you can NEVER go wrong!