More Than A Teacher
Cookies, worms, soda, Mentos, laundry detergent, buckets, and potatoes. You might be asking yourself what in the world these items have in common!? Just ask teacher and correspondent, Linda Word. “What a weird looking shopping cart,” she said, as she scooted through Wal-Mart on her lunch break recently.
Being a teacher at Stewart Home & School is so much more than lesson plans and bulletin boards. Being a teacher at Stewart Home & School also means being a “correspondent”. A correspondent acts as a homeroom teacher, helping stay connected with your family and get you some of the things you need as a residential student.
How do I get a sketch pad? My watch band is broken, how do I get a new one? What about my snacks for self-care? Well, if your parents don’t send you those things in the mail, your correspondent teacher can most likely get those special things for you. Let’s just hope you aren’t needing any worms!
Oh yeah. What about the worms?! Well, not only does Linda care for her group of correspondents, but she also teaches science in the academic building and cares for a menagerie of animals in her classroom. A weekly shopping cart can also include crickets, guinea pig bedding, and birdseed! The science class is currently learning about decomposition and the role that worms play in the process. Did you know that red worms have 5 pairs of hearts and no eyes? Me neither! The things you learn at Stewart Home & School. They are also having a few surprises in class for the July 4th holiday. Do you know what happens when you add Mentos to soda? It’s a blast! Literally.
Shopping for correspondents is just one of many aspects of being a teacher at SH&S, said Linda. “Not many people I know shop for worms on their lunch break,” she said as she shuffled through her many lists. The role of a teacher and correspondent definitely keeps things interesting. Teachers are just a handful of many staff members who play a role in caring for the residential students here at school, but they play an important one.
Well, I think that covers all the items in the shopping cart. No, wait! What about the potatoes? I think you might have to come back around to find out what those are for!
Stewart Home & School is one-of-a-kind community. Most special education programs end at age 21, and then adult settings focus on vocational options and daily living skills. Stewart Home & School is a school for special needs that assigns each person a special education plan in addition to goals for vocational placement, social maturity growth and daily living skills training. Working together with the student, his/her family and the school faculty, each plan is implemented on a year-round, three-semester basis and schedules are adjusted as needed.