Saturday, October 16, 2010

It’s a Wonderful Life!

Not only the title of the play our students will be performing this fall, but I have to believe that it is one of the codes that Julianne Meyer, our play director lives by. She overflows with enthusiasm and passion whenever you engage her in conversation about students and education, as well as any of the multitudes of interests that she has. What will strike you when you meet her, and get to know her a little bit, is the optimism she expresses. That coupled with a very quick wit and one cannot help but fell comfortable that their child has her for a teacher. And there are also those wonderful colloquialisms that flow naturally from her in conversations!

Mrs. Meyer is not new to the high school, as she has worked as a paraprofessional prior to being hired to teach in our special education program. She has also been involved in our theatre and speech programs as an assistant, providing a great deal of support and guidance for our students. She brings a perspective to our program that is different from most new teachers as she is, how should we say it, more “mature” than most rookie teachers. It is my opinion that this is a huge advantage for the students. Mrs. Meyer is not the first “non-traditional” teacher that I have had the pleasure to hire. It seems to me that their life experiences bring a knowledge base to the classroom that twenty-something teachers simply have not had the opportunity to learn.

With all her responsibilities, I know at times she believes that she is in the middle of a hurricane. Special education teachers have responsibilities that go far beyond those of their colleagues in other content areas. The paperwork is excessive, and the preparation time to meet the individual needs of their students can take a tremendous amount of time. Throw in the fact that she is directing her first major production at N.F.H.S. and you have a very busy lady, not to mention the fact that she is a mom and spouse and has all of those things going on in her life! But, I bet if you ask her, she wouldn’t have it any other way! Yes, it is a wonderful life!