My journey in special education started at age six, as a student. Picture a scared little girl who did not understand the world around her. During my first-grade year, I could only demonstrate ten spoken words with my vocabulary, qualifying me for special education services. At first I
puzzled the education team, but within a year the speech teacher solved the puzzle. I processed words, numbers, sentences, and even individual sounds in reverse. I heard the world backward. I learned how to read before I could speak in sentences. Reading opened up the world to me and eventually revealed that I had an aptitude for mathematics.
Educators who believed that anything was possible and who had high expectations from their students crossed my path and met me on my journey of learning. I was blessed with a mom who retaught all subjects to me every night after school from 1st through 6th grade. Also, she followed the specialists’ recommendations of putting me in ballet, softball, and girl scouts to create new connections in my brain with sequential activities. I could never say “thank you” enough to my special education teacher and my speech teacher who taught me for eight years. I would like to offer a special thanks to my 4th-grade teacher who believed in me and that I could do grade-level work, even though I was about three years behind. By the time I finished high school, I had exited the special education program. I even took Honors English my senior year. Due to the teachers in my life who believed in me and my stubbornness with believing in myself, I attended university and graduated.
Currently, I am in my 26th year as a public school teacher, and it is my 25th year teaching students with visual impairments. Even though I am a seasoned teacher now, I know that I will continue to learn from my students. I love the relationships among students, parents, teachers, and team members of collaboration, trusting and believing in each other. I am very grateful to be teaching in Friendswood ISD, a district overflowing with people who believe in overcoming challenges during this amazing journey of learning!
-Augusta Cloyd, Visual Impairments / Braille Teacher