Tyler teacher uses special techniques to help students learn | News
TYLER, TX (KLTV)- Today is National Teacher Day, a day to say thank you to all the teachers who have or who are impacting our lives on a regular basis.
And one East Texas teacher is making a very special impact on a group of middle schoolers every day.
Joyce Palmer didn't even start teaching full-time until six years ago, and for the last four years, she's been a life skills teacher, using special techniques to teach nine special needs children at Dogan Middle School in Tyler.
"It's been a whole new experience in my life. I mean, I got my bachelor's degree at 46 years old just so I could do this, and I absolutely love it," Palmer said.
"It's changed your life?" I asked her.
"Completely," she said. "I never really even knew that I liked kids. You know, let alone to have the kind of passion that I have for them now."
And that passion leads her to go above and beyond to find ways to help them learn -- like rewarding Ana, an eighth-grader, with Michael Jackson music after she finishes her work.
"It's easy for me to accept all the little quirks and all the little extra personality things that come along. And in so many ways, they're just typical kids," Palmer said. "They develop a little differently and they have different ways of learning, so I get to teach with pictures, I get to teach with music, I get to teach with interactive software. It's fun for me to teach it, and so it's fun for them to learn it."
Palmer says that being a teacher, and working with these kids, isn't a job -- it's a lifestyle she wouldn't dream of trading.
"They come to me with limitations based on their disabilities. And it's my goal that when they come into this room, that that's the only limitation they experience. And there are no limitations on them once they come in here, that we don't use the word can't," she said. "My goal for them is to be life-long learners and to be independent, contributing members of society as adults, to be as independent as possible."
Palmer said that if there's one thing she could share about being a teacher, it's that it's not just an 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., nine-month-a-year job -- but that it is a lifestyle that teachers commit to.
And for all of you out there who teach our children every day, we want to say thank you for all the hard work you do day in and day out for the children of East Texas. Happy National Teacher Day to all of you.
Copyright 2012 KLTV. All rights reserved.
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