Trumann, AR (KAIT) - It takes a special person to become a teacher. It takes a very special person to dedicate their career to teaching children with special needs.
Let me introduce you to February's Teacher of the Month, Vicki Wood from the Cedar Park Elementary School in Trumann..
She has been teaching special needs children for 25 years.
Meeting the needs these children bring to the classroom, can be a monumental task.
Wood says her best moments are the a-ha times, when the light comes on in a students eyes.
"Something they didn't know before they suddenly grasp. And they just feel so good about themselves that they finally got it. When I see that happen it just blesses my heart so much."
Vicki Wood doesn't have a lot of students only 8 but these 8 kids have so much to learn.
"Many of my students will never have to hold a public job because of the severity of their problems. But they do need to know how to function in society."
Her lesson plans reflect school and life tasks for her students and her 2 paraprofessionals Lori Spray and Christy Whitlock.
Wood was the first one in her family to attend college. Not following the lead from a girlfriend who changed majors. Wood stayed in special ed.
"I found my niche. And I think it was a matter of God giving guidance even when I didn't know I needed guidance."
Vicki says she gets discouraged and frustrated at times but it's her students that inspire her.
"They teach me about smiling when there's very little to smile about. And so it's my students themselves who inspire me and get me here every morning."
Teresa Hendrix who is the Special Ed Director for Trumann told me; "To those parents when they've seen their child struggle and they have the A-Ha moment she referred to. I have parents with tears in their eyes come and thank me for her."
Wood, "I choose to do my best every day. And there are many times when my best is just not that great. But if I can go home everyday knowing that I gave it all I had for that day, then I know I have been a success."