As a an educator for the past 27 years I have had the wonderful opportunity to be a classroom teacher, reading specialist, professional developer, and college instructor. Each new position I took was intentionally done to have a wider “impact” on my field of reading, but also a greater “impact” on the lives of children. During this career, I have had the privilege of being the mother of 2 children, both of whom were born preemies. My son spent the first 3 weeks of his life in the NICU, being cared for by a team of skilled nurses and doctors. My long daily visits and late nights gave me a new insight into “impact”. When Dr. Megan Nickels shared the concept of a Pediatric School at Nemours at a staff meeting in January of 2018, I knew it was something I needed to find out more about and that it could be an opportunity to broaden my “impact”, not only for children with critical illnesses, but also for our UCF elementary education interns.
Fast forward to December 2018, and PedsAcademy is a reality and fully operationalized. I knew that the school would have an academic and social “impact” on the children at Nemours, but what I was not sure about was the “impact” on our elementary education interns. Here are just a few of the ways PedsAcademy has “impacted” our UCF students:
- Social/emotional empathy and personal development
- Understanding the role of motivation at a deeper level
- Development of communications skills with various stakeholders
- Teacher withitness – adaptability, flexibility,
- Making accommodations and modifications for students with disabilities and children with critical illnesses related to assessment and instruction
We look forward to expanding and perfecting our model of hospital-based education and having an even greater “impact” on children’s’ lives and our UCF students.