SHABBONA – Stephanie Snider says she likes to strategy life, and work, within the service of others.
She’s taken that strategy for the previous 14 years working in special education at Indian Creek High School in Shabbona.
“I’ve always been a proponent of just serving people, and being a servant leader and just showing people the compassion and grace that I feel like people have bestowed to me in the past,” Snider stated.
At Indian Creek, Snider teaches all ranges of highschool. Unlike extra conventional approaches to special education, Snider’s college students get a totally inclusive strategy to their faculty. They attend the identical lessons as their friends, and Snider co-teaches the entire classroom whereas serving to be certain her college students with special wants handle their Individualized Education Program targets.
The daughter of a longtime teacher, Snider grew up within the Plano space and didn’t discover her educator footing instantly.
“I kind of resisted the whole field,” Snider stated. “My mom was a teacher in Somonauk and I think that was why I resisted it for so long, because I saw that it’s not an easy profession. It seems glamorous and you have your summers at home, but you don’t get your summers off. It’s not as easy that.”
As an Eastern Illinois University undergraduate pupil, Snider initially pursued broadcast journalism. She selected a unique path after a professor instructed her the lengthy odds of communications graduates discovering jobs of their discipline.
By the top of her freshman yr, Snider stated, she as an alternative settled on special education, rekindled by an expertise years before as a pupil at Plano High School.
“They had a program [where] I would volunteer in a third grade classroom every other day,” Snider stated. “I worked one-on-one with a little girl who had just moved into the district from CPU [Chicago Public Schools] and it was very apparent that she had some large gaps in her education.”
As a highschool senior, Snider labored intently with the kid to raised develop her main abilities, an expertise she considers as pivotal to her profession.
“It was amazing even as an 18-year-old to have that impact on that little girl and be able to teach her the skillset that she was missing,” Snider stated.
While pursuing special education, Snider student-taught after which labored as a kindergarten and first grade diagnostic teacher with Kendall County Special Education Cooperative. Soon after, she was employed in Yorkville faculties however realized she needed to pursue an older aged classroom, which led her to Indian Creek High School.
“I think that’s kind of my sweet spot, honestly,” Snider stated. “There’s something magical that happens between that sophomore and junior year. They kind of morph into these young adults that have goals and aspirations and are looking towards the future. I really like being able to form relationships at that age level.”
As a highschool special education teacher, Snider juggles a caseload of about 13 college students, and teaches two freshmen English lessons, a junior and senior English class, world geography and trendy America, and a historical past class.
At Indian Creek, the co-teaching mannequin stands as a testomony to inclusive studying, stated highschool principal Ok.C. McCarty, who heralded Snider’s work.
“Stephanie has taken a lead in bringing a co-teaching model to our high school,” McCarty stated. “Stephanie is consistently working with all of our students to provide them with the support and accommodations necessary to be successful.”
In her freshman English class, for instance, three out of the 19 college students additionally obtain special education parts to their every day work. But they sit in on the common lessons like their friends.
Snider known as that strategy big.
“I think we have seek huge growth not only academically but socially for our kids,” Snider stated. “Not having that stigma of always being pulled out of the classroom. I think it’s been a great learning opportunity for the students that are just in the regular classroom also. We see a lot of collaboration among our students helping each other out.”
McCarty stated Snider’s additionally spent the previous three faculty years serving as a cheerleader to her colleagues, making a celebration day for all of the employees, a 12-days-of-Christmas program, day-long bingo and different morale boosting actions.
Snider known as it the Sunshine Committee, and stated she’s been doing it for the higher a part of a decade at the highschool.
Snider, who calls Somonauk dwelling together with her husband, Eric, and two youngsters, 10-year-old Clara and 12-year-old Porter, stated a constructive perspective is her means of giving again.
“I’m a mom and a wife, and I just want folks to know that as difficult as our job is and especially the last couple years, we are making a difference.”