Shannon Yturraspe is a special education teacher at Coyote Ridge Elementary. Yturraspe has been a teacher for four years and has worked at the school for over 10 years. She was an educational assistant in the autism program, then decided to get her teaching degree.
“When the time came and I was certified, I was able to make the transition at Coyote Ridge to be a special education teacher for the autism program. This was an amazing opportunity as I wanted to continue working at Coyote Ridge and I knew the autism program very well,” she explains.
One student and his mom were truly inspired by Yturraspe. Monica Piquero wrote to Bear last December.
“This amazing special education, autism, self-contained classroom teacher has given my son so much support, love, aid, consideration (did I mention love?) and most of all empowered him,” writes Piquero. “He feels smart, confident, he is speaking, socializing to the best of his ability now.... She gave Andy an opportunity, a chance and most of all the tools and skills he needed to accomplish his dreams.”
Piquero adds, “To me, as a past educator, I am amazed (by) her accomplishments as an educator, her dedication and the difference she made in my son and other students alike. She is a force to be reckoned with...I have never met a teacher as impressive as her.”
Learning has looked different this year. Due to COVID, most students at Coyote Ridge are distance learning.
“As far as teaching during the pandemic, it has been a learning curve for all,” says Yturraspe. “I had to find ways to reach my students on a completely digital platform. Most of the teaching I have done in the past was very hands on and making the switch to all online was challenging. I spent many hours researching ways to create assignments for my students to make it accessible to them. For the assignments I had to make sure that it had explicit directions, visuals, and different ways for my students to show me their understanding of the curriculum.”
“When I was needed back at school to teach some students in person, I was nervous,” she admits. “I take the virus very seriously and I wanted to make sure that we were safe. Luckily the students in my class are very good with keeping a mask on and only need a quick prompt to put it back on if they took it off. We follow all of the protocols set by the Glendale Elementary School District and keep the room very clean during the day. We also have our classrooms sprayed nightly.”
“I am currently teaching synchronously. I have a few students online and a few in person… learning the same content at the same time,” explains Yturraspe.