Tamya Brown began her journey as a paraeducator 14 years working with Special Ed students at Curtis Bay Elementary Middle School. She is currently a Pre-K paraeducator at Commodore John Rodgers Elementary Middle School.
What challenges do you face as a Paraeducator and how do you meet those challenges?
My challenge as a paraeducator is finding ways to maximize my students’ school day with engaging lessons and fun activities. Most of their learning takes place in the classroom but there are gaps; such as lunch time, transitioning through the hallways and recess. I meet that challenge by developing educational lessons that will fit into the gaps.
What are some examples of things you do to engage the kids?
My philosophy for teaching is learning through play. I turn my lessons into games. This keeps my students focused and motivated to learn more. I’m excited for another year at Commodore because I work with an awesome team and teacher, Berol Dewdney, who shares the same philosophy. We teach a curriculum where students learn through play (Tools Curriculum).
How has the COVID-19 pandemic and school closures affected your job?
COVID-19 has affected our relationships with both students and parents in a positive way. With consistent communication and one to one interactions it has made our lessons more impactful.
What do you miss the most about your students now that schools are closed?
So many things. Their cries, smiles, laughs, jokes, dance moves, how loving they are, the curiosity they have, the “realness” they bring, just everything.
Why is it important for PSRPs to be involved in the union?
In every profession you need a support system. A system where they meet the needs of the professional.
What would you like to see BTU focus on in the future?
I would like the BTU to focus on the value of having paraeducators in the classroom. I believe all grade levels should have a certified paraeducator in each classroom.