“I Wish I Knew About This 5 Years Ago”: How Getting Involved Reinvigorated My Love for the Field
I joined CEC when I began my full-time graduate program after five years of public school special educate-ing, and the words, “I wish I knew about this five years ago,” became my slogan with every new CEC resource I discovered or webinar I attended. So much of my time in the classroom was spent in a silo, trying to create something useful for my students because nothing I had available was ever quite right. As it turns out, most of my woes could have been resolved or supported through CEC and its many Divisions.
Once I began volunteering within CEC, I made it my goal to share useful information, materials, contacts, resources, etc., with pre-service and in-service teachers so that they wouldn’t have to reinvent the wheel every day. But more importantly, I did this so the teachers would know they weren’t alone in seeking better education services for their students. Besides the personal fulfilment I get in supporting practicing teachers, volunteering has opened me up to the wider world of special education outside of the classroom.
In my five years as a CEC member and volunteer, I have learned so much more about the field, expanded my professional network and career options, and met the most amazing teachers who have helped shaped the work I do today. Because of this, I have a reinvigorated appreciation and love for special education and the exceptional students we serve.