Growing up I think I always knew I was meant to be a teacher, but it was not until I was in college that I truly found my calling; working with students with significant special needs. I still remember sitting in a communications class in college and not even knowing what autism was. That was a long time ago...
This is now...
As a teacher, I spend my waking moments dreaming of how to make my students, families and support staff’s lives easier and more enriched. From my days as a teacher assistant to my time as a Special Education Teacher and Disability Manager, one of my big tools of the trade has always been Boardmaker. The reason is simple... everyone deserves a voice. Everyone deserves to be heard. Boardmaker puts this the palm of your hand.
I still remember my first Boardmaker CD. I think I erased some of the symbols. I was not very good, but I wanted my students to have pictures to support their communication. One of the common misconceptions about Boardmaker is that the pictures are only line based drawings. I love how I can customize the color, shapes, size, and pictures for each individualize student. I made schedules for my students, labels for the classrooms and Words walls. It was like a whole new universe had opened up.
Boardmaker even works on significant others! When I wanted to get engaged, made a visual schedule for my now husband. Less than six months later we were engaged and are now married. Communication wins!
Boardmaker has evolved so much over the years. I now can use online interactive activities with my students, take data on IEP goals, as well as share resources with colleagues and people I do not even know but have taught me new things. My students have learned to read and write using the adaptations and visual supports I have made them from Boardmaker. I love that I can develop lessons from the resources on the Boardmaker Online account. The addition of the new curriculum, Boardmaker Activities-to-Go, is so helpful with its differentiated activities on various topics.
If you had asked me years ago if this is where I would be, I probably would have said, “No!” but I am so thankful to have Boardmaker along for the ride!
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