Midwood Welcomes New Additions to Staff (Special Education Department)

By Alexis Carpio ’18

New teachers have just joined the Special Ed department. They are Mr. Donald Amsterdam and Ms. Imani Taylor providing us with an insight of their experience so far in the school.

“So far I love it here. It’s interesting, fun, I and feel well supported as a teacher,” Mr. Amsterdam said.

Mr. Amsterdam wanted to come here as a student, however, he never made it into the school. Now as a teacher, he experiences it in a whole new way. Every day coming to school, he relives his high school experience.

This is his first time teaching students with special.

“Learning the requirements of this job and teaching it at the same time can be hard to juggle,” Mr. Amsterdam said.

“To adapt lessons for my students, I tend to perform a one-to-one with each student to provide more attention and learn to make certain tools such as, graphic organizers and vocabulary cards to make the lessons easy for them,” Mr. Amsterdam said.

Also, with the help of his co-teacher, he manages to organize lessons in a visual way and uses a lot of vocabulary drills to help his students.

“I believe Midwood is an incredible school. I love the atmosphere, and the students work really well with one another inside and outside of classrooms,” Ms. Taylor said.

Ms. Taylor is one of younger teachers in the Special Ed Department. Before coming to this school she worked at a charter school for three years in an afterschool program.

“The staff, that’s what got me interested in teaching in the first place,” Ms. Taylor said.

She loves working her students efficiently, and she is hoping to being more involved with the school activities and events. She loves learning new things especially when learning to teach material outside of generic lectures or having students copy notes from a board. She does things differently.

“I’m more about playing games and doing activities with my students, rather than in a formal way of teaching. I don’t get to do that as much,” Ms. Taylor said.

She adapts lessons for her students by noting if they are visual learners, auditory learners, or kinesthetic learners. This goes back to why she does many activities with her students, which requires standing up and having bigger classrooms.

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