The best teachers are said to be those who can think outside the box. At the CCHAT Center, sometimes this means getting in the box...literally. No matter how grumpy a child might be, through the magical power of a cardboard box (or an amazing teacher), a jump into Diane's mysterious attitude adjustment box always results in a smiling face and positive attitude.
Diane teaches with her heart. She is passionate, caring, alive, present, inspiring, real and possesses a love for what she is teaching. Teaching a profoundly deaf child to listen and speak takes skill, patience, creativity and a leap of faith. Diane genuinely believes every child with hearing loss is capable of learning to listen and talk. This expectation creates a self-fulfilling prophecy. The children, parents and staff sense her confidence and work to make it happen.
Diane begrudgingly tolerates the massive amounts of paperwork and testing now required of teachers in special education. She rolls her eyes at fancy, expensive materials and technology. She firmly believes her time is best spent with her students and that she can do her lesson with old fashioned balloons. She makes classroom experiences exciting and memorable. Think tactile, unexpected, movement-oriented, and a little bit crazy...and you will be on the right track. She celebrates the smallest student successes, shows compassion for struggling parents, laughs at her own mistakes and isn't afraid to be imperfectly human in front of her students.
I feel privileged to have worked with someone who reminds me on a daily basis to believe in children, to be compassionate, to laugh and to make decisions with my heart. Diane, thank you for your unwavering conviction that every child deserves both a chance and our respect and for your constant support and belief in me. You made a difference. ~ with much appreciation, Laura