Originally posted Feb. 29, 2008
By Carol Eisenbise
Special education teacher, Gilbert, AZ
CEC Treasurer, 2008
I have been a member of CEC since 1987 when I was a “mid-career” student at East Stroudsburg University. I then worked in eastern Pennsylvania in the Learning Support, Autistic Support, Physical Disabilities Support, and Multiple Disabilities Support areas as a supervisor, teacher, and liaison for Bethlehem Area Vocational-Technical School. When my husband retired, we moved to Arizona, where I currently teach students with emotional disabilities, grades 9 through 12, and all four core subjects. I’m proud to say that I am “highly qualified” in all four areas.
I thought I’d share with you the rewards and challenges of teaching such a group of students. The Gilbert Unified School District does a very nice job of separating the “ED” population from the “BD” population.In my mind, the ED population wants to do well (“Yes, I promise, Mrs. Eisenbise, I’ll get it done right away. . . .”), but they just cannot (the head goes down on the desk). These students have a medical diagnosis of anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, and/or obsessive compulsive disorder (to name just a few). The BD population, on the other hand, is very deliberate with their actions; they are choosing to be oppositional.