This week, we spoke with Sue Ellen Baez, a special education teacher who works with students with autism at P.S. 46 in New York City. Her goal as a teacher, she says, is to show all of her students how much she believes in them, and to help push them to their full potential.
“I am a firm believer in movement breaks to help my students meet their sensory needs, focus better and learn better,” Baez told us. “I believe that all students regardless of their disability have the potential to learn and succeed they just need to be given the right tools and have someone that believes in them.”
We asked her a few key questions, and we hope her answers will help show how important teachers are to students. Check them out!
Q: Why did you want to become a teacher?
A: I wanted to become a teacher because I wanted to make a difference in students’ lives and help them realize their full potential. I find that seeing my students grow, not only academically but socially, is very rewarding. Knowing that I am helping shape our future generation drives me to be the best teacher I can be.
Q: What is the number one way you inspire your students to become better, healthier learners?
A: The number one way I inspire my students to become better healthier learners is by teaching the about growth mindset, teaching them to believe in themselves and to face any challenges that come their way. I provide my students with tools and strategies to succeed.
Q: From your perspective, how impactful is daily movement breaks to students ability to focus?
A: I strongly believe that daily movement breaks are crucial to helping my students focus and succeed. Daily movement breaks help my students focus better, stay on task and self-regulate themselves throughout the day. Many of my students benefit from movement breaks to help meet their sensory needs.
Q: How often do your students have access to recess time or physical activity?
A: My students have recess daily, they also have adapted physical education 3 times a week. In addition, my students have access to our sensory hallway during the day and have class movement breaks as needed throughout the day.
Thank you, Sue Ellen, for all the work you do at P.S. 46 with special education students, and for inspiring them to be the best they can be—from everyone here at Fit and Fun Playscapes. Teachers are the gatekeepers of our future generations, and it’s comforting to know that there are plenty of teachers like Sue Ellen guiding them.
How are you showing your appreciation for teachers this month? Let us know!