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Posted April 23, 2014

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Phyllis Meyer, Van Buren MS

Education is Phyllis Meyer’s second career; before that she was a merchandise buyer/control specialist for a major retail company.

She decided to become involved in teaching after her daughter entered kindergarten and began to spend more time chaperoning field trips and helping in her daughter’s classroom. This led to a short-term EA position at Bandelier ES in a regular first grade classroom. There were a number of students there who where being tested for special education services; Phyllis spent a lot of time working with them...and realized that she was really enjoying that light in their eyes when something finally made sense!

The following year she took another EA position at Taft MS working with students with multiple disabilities. These were a heart-breaking challenge. She decided then that she was better at working with students with learning or behavior concerns and decided to take that step to become a special education teacher focusing on learning disabilities.

In 1998 Phyllis took a position at Polk MS as a 6th grade self-contained teacher. She taught all subjects finding it especially delightful connecting subjects in thematic units. In 2000, Phyllis transferred to Van Buren Middle School. She started out in the portables teaching science, math, and language arts. In 2006, she moved to teaching only math until taking on the head special education teacher position last spring.

With the news of a grandchild coming, she is retiring in May 2014 to be a full-time grandmother.

Phyllis Meyer’s favorite thing about teaching? What else but the students! While many of them need so much, they also offer so much. Over the years she found that the challenges they presented always brought rewards that are not present in any other profession. Her advice to new teachers...accept your students for who they are and find time in your teaching day to listen. That was the one most important piece that encouraged them to learn.

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