Degrees and Certifications:
Bachelors of Arts Teaching Certification First Aid & CPR Certified Certification of Completion Dyslexia Awareness Content Teaching Academy: Instructional Practices for teachers of students with Significant Cognitive Disabilities
Hello, My name is Ms. Holbrook.
I have been at Mayfield Intermediate for a total of 6 years. In 2015, I was very fortunate to have been hired for the self-contained intellectual disabilities classroom at Mayfield. The year 2017, my family relocated to Chesapeake, Virginia. I obtained a special education teaching position at Grassfield Elementary. During the COVID pandemic, my husband's job brought us back to Northern Virginia. It was a very tiresome experience moving during this critical time. However, with divine intervention, I gratefully returned to Mayfield as one of the structured self-contained classroom teachers.
Working at Mayfield and teaching exceptional children is my niche. I truly am amazed by the support of the administration, the resources that are available within the city and collaboration throughout the school district.
As a special education teacher, helping children discover their hidden talents is very rewarding. All students can be successful when provided multiple opportunities and instruction to meet their unique learning needs. Each child has different preferences. Pairing their likes helps make learning fun. Also, I am a firm believer in the philosophy of the special education teacher adapting to each child's learning needs. It is also important to positively reinforce appropriate behaviors. It is essential for children to understand their schedule/routine and what they are working for. Using first and then cards, visuals and positive behavior reinforcement provides each student opportunities to make choices and build independence. For example, students can choose to play in the sensory room, read a book, play on the computer for a specific amount of time once they have completed a non-preferred activity. Using my experience, the token economy system has been very successful in providing motivation.
Also, in this structured classroom, the students use "Work Systems" to build independence. A work system assists in organizing by providing a systematic work routine- working from left to right. Activities are practicing mastering tasks, (filing by letter, sorting by color, puzzles, etc. using concrete objects.
Working in this profession is very rewarding. Often I reflect on the inspirational poem, Welcome to Holland by Emily Perl Kingsley.
If you have never read this, please click the link.
Taking a 'road less traveled' can teach us many new things. We need to slow down and appreciate things that most take for granted.