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Teacher of the Week: Laura Smith, Special Needs Teacher at W.E. Cherry Elementary

8:05 PM, Feb 6, 2013   |    comments
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Laura Smith has been teaching for ten years, but in her classroom each child learns at his or her own pace. Smith teaches special needs students at W.E. Cherry Elementary in Clay County. Her students can range greatly in both age and ability.
    
Parents April and Shawn Yagecic have two sons with autism in Smith's class. They say she's helped them to achieve goals even doctors never thought possible.

"When Christopher, our middle son, was diagnosed with autism, we were told he was never going to read, write, talk and that we should focus more on our other children," said April Yagecic. "Since Christopher has been in her classroom, it's just been one thing after another!"

Smith said she loves what she does and her job is very rewarding.

"I can't describe it in one way as to why I love it. It's just an enjoyable job to watch the children grow and they're funny and kind and sweet and loving," she said. "There's also challenges that you face each day, but when you get past all your obstacles and the children are learning to communicate and socialize and they're playing and laughing and hugging you and happy to see you each day, it's just a good feeling."

Smith said she couldn't do it without the help of her teaching assistants. She also adds that the low student to teacher ratio also helps each child to get the attention they need.

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