Suzette 2

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Suzette Muck of Caledonia is a special education teacher with 14 years of teaching experience. She has taught for three years at Poplar Grove Elementary, currently teaching first-third grade special education (self-contained cross categorical). Her principal, Heather Walsh, says, “Suzette has worked to empower her student learners, thus creating an individualized environment for …her students to think and reflect, deepen their understanding, and test their ideas against those of their classmates at their level.“ She adds that Suzette is a sincere, thoughtful, compassionate team player who is always serving the best interests of her students and the school. With a classroom full of heavily individualized plans, Suzette’s students often start out complaining that it isn’t fair that one student could do one thing while another student could not. She proactively found a way to eliminate the word “fair” from her classroom with an exercise involving each student’s imagining an injury somewhere on their bodies. Each student was given a Band-Aid on the hand. The children recognized that while the remedy was “fair” to each of them, it did not necessarily offer what the person needed. Many of her students face struggles at home which greatly affect their learning and behavior. While she says that none of her students are ever far from her thoughts, she reflects that “strangely enough, I’ve never truly thought about how my commitment affects the children in my care. The simplistic version is that I have just always wanted to do right by all of them.”