DARBY - This week's One Class a Time grant winner is Angela Murdoch who teaches Life Skills classes as part of the Special Education program at Darby High School.
She said she loves her students in Life Skills because they force her to think outside of the box, but she didn’t always imagine herself as a special education teacher.
“The original plan was to teach early childhood and then be a professor that teaches people how to teach," explained Murdoch. "And then my youngest child was born with a birth defect. At the time we were in southern Missouri and shipped off to St. Louis Children’s Hospital. It is there where my eyes were opened to this whole realm of children that just need special patience and attention.”
After 11 years at teaching Lone Rock School, Murdoch is now working on developing the life skills curriculum at Darby High School to help students in the Bitterroot.
With her $250, she will build a sensory corner.
“It really helps the students when you have social/emotional problems pop up during the academic day to let them have a spot where they can ground and calm down and balance their energy and use the sensory tools to do that," Murdoch shared.
The corner will include a light curtain for the eyes, gel floor tiles to touch, a nice cushion, and a few other items like bubbles. Each item is designed to relax and refocus the student's senses.
“They all learn differently, which is really awesome because some of our world’s best thinkers came from Life Skills and Special Ed programs.”
While she’s building this sensory corner for her outside-of-the-box thinkers, Murdoch herself is the kind of teacher anyone would be lucky to have in their corner.