At Swain West Elementary, special education teacher Trina Stiles has come full circle.
She began her teaching career in this very classroom as a student-teacher. And, now she’s back home doing the job she loves.
We met six of Trina Stiles’ seven special students, ranging from second through fifth grade.
Their game of ‘shoulder, shoulder, head’ put each student in the spotlight, answering math and reading questions, then using their creativity to act like a certain animal.
"My kids are like every kid in the school. They’re like every kid in every school everywhere. They just learn differently," states Stiles.
Stiles first realized this while helping out in her daughter’s class.
"I became a teaching assistant for a student with autism. I worked with her and would think, ‘there’s more to this. I can being doing more. I want to learn more about this," recalls Stiles.
Stiles went back to school, got her Master's degree, then became a special ed teacher at the Cherokee school district for most of her career.
Stiles loved Cherokee, happily retired, but soon realized she missed teaching.
Twenty-four years later, she returned to her former school, Swain West Elementary.
"Our teacher’s so nice," says student J.J.
"She teaches me what to do about worksheets, about math, and math tests, reading, library, and spelling test," adds classmate Conner.
"They’re just a blessing. They’re a blessing in my life, and they make everyday fun." states Trina Stiles.