What Do We Believe?
We believe Life Skills teachers have the hardest job in any school district. At one time teaching students with low incidence disabilities was thought to be babysitting with some functional skills thrown in for good measure. Teaching simple academics was kind of a bonus if there was time and energy between dealing with behaviors. In 1998, when I started teaching Life Skills, I was told to keep them quiet so we didn't bother the regular education classes nearby.
I started off teaching academics and I saw my students gain a sense of accomplishment. When they learned something that was HARD, they became invigorated to learn more. Most had been in school 6-7 years by the 4th grade and they had been told what they could not do! They enjoyed learning what they could do.
I used research based learning methods and a lot of spit and vigor to show them that if the work seems hard then they are learning.
"EVERYTHING WORTH LEARNING IS HARD WORK."
Over the years, some of my student have skipped resource class and gone straight to regular education classes. Why? Because they had learned how to learn and were motivated to learn. Some of my students went on to college or vocational schools. Success is learned and hard to teach but worth learning.
STAAR-Alt Helper is a Family Owned Business
My husband and I travel with our dog Ralfy to all the trainings and conferences. We make all the materials in our home office. We believe special education teachers need support and many don't get it. Even if you can't order, contact me and I will try to help you with whatever problem you have in your classroom.
Here I am with my oldest granddaughter, Gloria. I am a grandmother with 10 grand children aged 5-29. Of course they are all brilliant.
I started college at age 38 at Tarleton State and got my BS in Sociology and Psychology then an M.Ed. in Education.
I worked with adults in group homes, supervised social workers at MHMR, and then I taught Life Skills for 17 years at Ennis ISD. Now, I am retired but still trying to make a difference.
Dave has been my husband since we were both seniors in high school. He started college at age 42 for a degree in Computer Networking and later began working at Ennis ISD.
Dave retired and now works with the Lions Club. He also helps with whatever needs done at church.
As my partner, he helps me run STAAR-Alt Helper. He makes all the materials, drives me everywhere and even does the bookkeeping.
Dave is my one and all.
Ralfy is our 9 year old Sheltie and Dashund mix. We got him from a shelter when he was 3 weeks old. He is the best support anyone ever needed. Ralfy goes with us camping and everywhere else we go. He is the best dog ever.
If you see Ralfy, don't look him in the eyes, because he will win your heart. Ralfy doesn't know a stranger and thinks everyone wants to pet him. Go ahead, do it: you know you want to.