Teacher of the Week: Lisa Thomas

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Patience, understanding and love. The best qualities of all teachers. But are they enough to teach students with special needs? For our Teacher of the Week, the answer is yes! Plus you need motivation and a desire to watch them progress and embrace learning.

What is the first step in teaching students with special needs?

“Building a relationship with them is the first thing you have to do,” said Lisa Thomas, a special education teacher at New Hanover County’s Anderson Elementary. “The have to trust me.”

Thomas has been building relationships with her students for years, and she is still inspired by them

“It’s amazing to me everyday they come with a smile on their face and they’re happy to be here, and I know some of the struggles that these children have, whether it’s at home or while they’re here, and it’s amazing that they’re so eager to come in and do what I ask every day,” Thomas said.

But she know that teaching special needs kids doesn’t stop at the end of the school day. She also helps parents with a bit of advice.

“Ask for help,” Thomas said. “You know we’re here to support you just as much as much as we are to support your child, and the things we see here may be completely different than what you’re seeing at home. So we’re always open.”

And that’s why Thomas is our Teacher of the Week. Thanks to McDonald’s, Derm 1 and Parkway Subaru she wins a $300 giftcard for her classroom needs.

Thomas works with her students in both special ed classes and in general education classes, so many of the students in our story do not have special needs. She says when her students are in general ed classes, she helps them there, too.

Categories: Features, Local, New Hanover, News, Teacher Of The Week

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