About Margaret Brolin

Margaret BrolinFor as long as I can remember, I’ve wanted to be a teacher.

In my younger years, playing “School” was about as good as it could get for me. Even then, I remember feeling a pull to help my “students” and tell them what a good job they were doing.

Becoming a Teacher

In 2002, I began working at a group home for adults with developmental disabilities. The experiences I had there cemented me desire to be a special education teacher. I continued to work there for several years up until I graduated from Georgian Court University in 2006.

Some folks say to me:

“I could never do what you do. You must have so much patience!”

Honestly, I don’t know that it takes a special kind of person to be a special education teacher.

However, I do believe that it requires a strong desire to provide students with what they personally need to succeed. Special Education isn’t about giving students with disabilities more supports and accommodations than their typical peers — it’s about giving them just enough to level the playing field.

A Passion for Special Education

Student teachingMy first teaching position was at the largest private day school in New Jersey. I spent the most time in a self-contained class with 12 multiply disabled students.

I had students with Down syndrome, Autism, cerebral palsy, seizure disorders and global developmental delays. The students ranged in age from 9-13. I never knew I could love a job so much!

This class made me realize how passionate I was about providing students with the adaptations and accommodations they needed to succeed, no matter how severe their disabilities.

When I worked in Virginia as a 7th grade resource teacher, I gained a great deal of experience within a fully inclusive environment. Typical students share all of their classes with peers who have difficulties ranging from specific learning disabilities to autism and intellectual disabilities.

This position provided me with a shining example of how well inclusion can work. I’ve witnessed firsthand that when children with moderate to severe disabilities are included, their fellow students have more compassion and a greater understanding of how different we all can be.

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