I am thankful every day that I attended William and Mary School of Education for my Masters in Special Education degree. I enjoyed seven years teaching students with disabilities in self-contained classrooms. My first two years were in a self-contained class for students with Learning Disabilities. I followed that with five years in a self-contained class for students with Emotional Behavioral Disabilities. I used every bit of knowledge and experience from my time at William and Mary and do not think I would have been as successful in my career without W&M School of Education. While at W&M, I got to further develop my knowledge and love of American History, Civics and Government because of the proximity to Colonial Williamsburg.
I decided to use my undergraduate Elementary Education degree and began teaching first grade. I am very focused on using all that I learned at William and Mary in the special education program to help my students with special learning needs (both identified and unidentified) be as successful as they can be. I also welcome students from our self-contained special education classes into my room when appropriate for mainstreaming.
I am currently in my 12th year in first grade and have been very fortunate to combine my experiences from both my undergraduate (at Clemson University) and graduate (at W&M) with my love of American History, Civics and Government. I have a patriotic themed classroom and integrate American History, Civics and Government throughout the curriculum. It is especially useful for addressing many of our character education topics. I have been blessed to be selected as Teacher of the Year for two different schools and Teacher of the Year for my School District.
I was selected as the National Veterans of Foreign Wars Citizenship Education Teacher of the Year. Last year, I was honored as one of three American Civic Education Teacher Award Winners.
When I talk with other people about my time at William and Mary, one of the most important parts of my degree program (beyond the EXCELLENT FACULTY!!!!) was the field placements. I was so glad that we got the opportunity for such a varied set of placements. I truly felt like I was well-prepared when I walked into my first classroom.
Sarah Ann Richardson Turpin
Graduate School of Education 1991 (M.Ed. in Special Education)