A northeast Missouri teacher is taking a unique approach when it comes to teaching her early childhood-special education students. It's just one reason WGEM is honoring her this month with a Golden Apple Award.
The moment you walk into Ms. Heather Glasgow's early childhood-special education classroom at Canton R-V Elementary, you can't help but notice the fun and whimsical atmosphere she creates for her students.
You won't catch Glasgow's three to five-year-olds just sitting at their desks. Ms. Heather, as her students call her, uses a variety of teaching stations to instruct her students. And technology plays a big role.
Ms. Heather was hard at work teaching her five-year-olds their letters, when we surprised her with a WGEM Golden Apple Award. She was speechless.
Ms. Heather has been teaching for 14 years and says it's her students who continue to inspire her.
"Every day they come in with a smile on their face," Glasgow said. " They're happy and they don't want to leave school. Some days we have tears but most of the time it's fun and a lot of laughing. And I feel I get to see the most growth at this age level."
Ms. Heather's classroom might not look like others in the Tri-States. She integrates students who have special needs with those that don't. She says it's a great way to teach these young students a big life lesson.
"Some of our students have IEP's and various disabilities and some have no IEP at all and they're here to serve as role models," Glasgow said. "It just integrates everything. All the kids get to see diverse kids who have different needs and they learn to accept each other."
Two of Ms. Heather's students don't speak English. But instead of separating them from their peers, she's teaching all of them together. Her smartboard and iPads play a big role in making those educational connections.
And her colleagues say they're proud to work alongside such a great educator.
"She's just been a real asset to our school and we're lucky to have her," para-professional Janet Ricketts said. "There are not a lot of early childhood special education teachers in the area and with Canton being so small, we're just really lucky to have her."
"I get to spend the best part of their lives with them, I think," Glasgow said. "It's just an awesome experience and I love it."
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