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Virginia Journal of Education

Ten Minutes with… Latasha Sturgis

Special Education Paraprofessional
Local Assn: Education Association of Alexandria
Years Worked: 15 years

What is a typical school day like for you?
I begin my day greeting children and reminding them to walk in the halls (they have so much energy!). I do some reading, and then begin teaching math and writing skills. I collaborate with general ed and special ed teachers to come up with the best ideas to meet the needs of the children we serve. I collect data on the children to find out what their strengths and weaknesses are. Then, at lunch time and encore times, I can kick back and have very engaging conversations with the children. They just have so much to say.

What do you like about your job?
I love to see the progress a child makes. The day is well spent when I can help children learn and watch them accomplish many of their goals. The best part of my job is witnessing the change and growth over a complete school year. As an educator, I find myself juggling many tasks and pulling another idea out of my trick bag to reach a student. Sometimes I am pretty creative. But as I put my best work forth to make sure every child is learning, the reward is watching them do something new every day. I get very excited, because the children make my day and I love having the opportunity to touch a child’s life.

What is hard about your job?
The hardest part of my job is making sure I get to spend an adequate amount of time with each of the children. The school day goes by quickly, and I just want to make sure I give every child what they need for the day.

What are some of most fun and unusual things that have happened on the job?
I think some of the most fun things about my job are when the children participate in plays, operas, musical concerts, sports, dance and the circus. It is so exciting to see them in another role on the stage or just practicing for an event. I am surrounded by some of the most talented children in the world and when their gift is revealed, they just flourish.

How has being an Association member been helpful for you?
Being a member makes me feel important. I have a wonderful building rep who makes sure I don’t miss any information, like voting times or meetings. I receive emails and announcements about all the benefits I have being a member, and that’s always a good feeling. I also have participated in the VEA and NEA conventions, where you have the opportunity to be a voice. I’m very proud to be part of a group that appreciates educators and shares the love for children.







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