Julie Stevens-Melanie Riviera
Julie Stevens-Melanie Riviera

The Only Journey Worth Taking is the One Within

Working In Special Education

January 28, 2020

San Dimas High School is home to many great educational programs. However, one of the most hardworking and inspiring is the schools special education program known as FAST, which stands for Functional Academic Skills Training.

Julie Stevens, the teacher of the class loves her job and finds many aspects of teaching special ed enjoyable. Julie said that the students follow a modified curriculum and learn many basic math, English, and social skills. The main difference between her classes and the others on campus is that she takes her students at whatever grade level they’re in combined with other students at varying academic capabilities.

She incorporates group activity and plans lessons ahead of time before each class day. Students have a routine schedule and ultimately this helps her students deal with life with less difficulty. 

Stevens keeps her students engaged by working with their own personal academic level to make things easier to grasp and learn. Patience is key in these classroom environments mostly because all of the students are at different academic level. “Incorporating different teaching tools such as using the iPads, then going to the white boards and later writing on paper helps keep the students going.” said Melanie Riviera, another educator involved in the program. She helps students with their work and makes sure they are understanding as much as they can.

Getting to know each student is one of the key strategies she uses to help the students with their work. Stevens incorporates many methods into everyday work to help teach her students. Ranging from group activities to the incorporation of iPads and even fun educational videos that the students like to watch. Having a structured class is the best way to make sure that her class runs smoothly and that students are safe and comfortable.

While talking to Stevens and Riviera, it was clear that they work hard to make sure students are always learning as much as possible and that they are able to succeed in what they are learning.

Students with special needs require teachers with personality traits that improve the learning process and help nurture and guide them during the process. Both Stevens and Riviera are great teachers and they help do this safely and comfortably teaching students an interesting curriculum.

The Special Education program at San Dimas is great and the teachers are even better. Having a mental disorder is already complicated, but Stevens and Riviera help their students greatly.

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