I had the amazing opportunity to connect with a talented teacher I hadn’t spoken with in 10 years. We met in college while attending Brigham Young University, but went our separate ways after we were hired on as teachers in different schools. I was so excited when I crossed paths with Ms. Mallory Poole this week. She is doing incredible things for the students in Utah, and it is my honor to thank her this week!
Where did you do your teacher prep? I studied Special Education with an emphasis in mild/moderate disabilities at Brigham Young University. I chose to student teach in Nebo district at Riverview Elementary with the experienced, Julie Beckham. I received my bachelors in Special Education and a minor in Teaching English as a Second Language.
Where have you taught in your teaching career? I have taught in Alpine School District, and Spectrum Academy (charter school).
What is the funniest thing a student has ever said? Too many to write down! A student singing, “Shake it Off” as he walked down the hall with is canes (crutches and Dlyphos specialized shoes and ankle braces). He would sing the entire song from bus to classroom dancing all the way. So cute.
What one piece of advice would you give to new teachers? Care and advocate for your students. Students have a sixth sense I say; they know if you care.
What is your favorite teacher resource? Collaborating with other teachers. I like taking general education activities and adapting them for our special needs students so they can feel part of the group. I also like the internet sites like teachers pay teachers or super teachers worksheets for worksheet that do not have too many problems on a page to overwhelm students.
Describe any experience you have had in education policy. I have served on the Utah Legislative Coalition for People with Disabilities advocating for special education. I am the chair of the Utah Special Education Advisory Panel, a group that advises the SPED State Director and the State School Board. As a part of this, I helped revise the state special education laws that were approved in September 2016. The panel also helped the school board understand the importance of making the LRBI manual a school wide manual not just SPED. I attend SPED law conferences to be aware of current litigation. I educate parents about procedural safeguards and rights of they have of their child. My motto is #careandadvocate
What’s the biggest change you would like to see in education? #careandadvocate I would like school administration to be more knowledgeable in special education. I know of a principal who called the special needs students in his school retards. It would be great for IDEA to be fully funded. ALL STUDENTS CAN LEARN when provided the appropriate opportunity and access to materials.
Mallory, thank you for being an advocate for students in Utah and for being a wonderful teacher and person.