Psychology and letter of specialization in Developmental Disabilities and Human Services (DDHS)
Current Position Title and Affiliation: Lead Teacher at the May Center School, West Springfield, MA
Summary of Position:
I oversee a classroom with 6 students, ages 3-9. Each student has a diagnosis and needs individualized programming that their home district could not provide, leading to an outplacement at the May. I work with 4 instructors and a Behavior Specialists within my classroom to develop IEPs, individual programming for each student, organize and schedule the classroom each day, work with each student 1:1, oversee and monitor their programs and progress, and work closely with other specialists (OT, SLP, BCBAs) and families to provide the best education for each student.
Eventually, I would like to work in a public school or oversee a special education department. As for now, I am happy being in the classroom and gaining experience working with a wide variety of students.
What do you love most about this career path?
I love that every day is different and the difference I make in my students’ and their families’ lives. Hearing their stories and the different milestones their children reach makes all the tough moments worth it.
How did UMass and/or Psychological and Brain Sciences help prepare you?
UMASS, specifically my internship with the DDHS program, helped me realize the need there is to provide more services for individuals while they are still school age and the effects it has on adult life when adequate resources are not available for families.
Tips for Current Undergrads:
Make connections with your professors, keep in touch throughout your college career and even after. Those connections you make could help shape and aid you in ways you aren’t even thinking about now. Go out and seek opportunities in areas that interest you, this is your time to explore and find your passion(s).