Special Education Lives On

By: Talia

Special Education Lives On


My school experiences were amazing, because all of my schools that I’ve gone to in the past helped me succeed in life. I went to the Forum School in Waldwick, NJ for elementary/middle school (the program for the middle school is called Departmental) and they helped me become the best version of myself. I also went to Banyan High School in Little Falls, NJ and I had ups and downs during high school, because it was on the downside of the issues I’ve had and I know that they’ve helped me succeed. I also went to the Riverview School in Cape Cod, East Sandwich, MA and they helped me get ready for the real world. I also went to Cape Cod Community College in a special education program called Project Forward in Cape Cod, West Barnstable, MA for two years and my majors were Basic Retail and Mass Communications. Both of my majors were very helpful and I’ve learned a lot during my time there. I’ve recently graduated from the College of Mount Saint Vincent in another special education program called Bridge Vocational Independence Program (VIP) and my majors were Special Education, Children’s Literature, Bridge classes, Writing in Context I and Ceramics (twice in the fall semester of 2022 and in the spring of 2023). My professors that I’ve had there were Mrs. Erika Greenblatt, Dr. Lorraine Termini, Mr. Matthew Mortimer, Ms. Samantha Viscovich, Mrs. Michelle Ranaldo, Mr. Rameriz, Dr. McCarthy and Dr. Sullivan and they helped me so much every day. I also had extra staff members after classes ended for the week and the staff members were Joe and Jeffrey Santana, Jack Connelly, Sean Goodwin, Liana Cabeza, Ashlyn Phillips, Mikka, Jayleen Mercado, Jennifer Puac, Edna Ademi, JD, Skylyn, Diamond Martin, and a bunch of others that helped me through my two years of college. Now I’m working at Planet Fitness (thank you for getting me this job, Seth Grossman (it’s my father), Positive Exposure with my mom Liz Matejka Grossman, Georgie’s Corner, Amanda McFee, Rick Gudotti, Ian, Herbie, Father Matthew, and Alison Graham, EPIC Players with my new friends Mina, Katty, Rachel, Gabe, Jessica, Cameron, and getting to perform Nickelodeon’s Spongebob Squarepants the Musical (I am hoping to play Pearl Krabs, Mr. Krabs’ daughter) every Wednesday on Zoom along with writing about my origins story in Personal Narrative every Tuesday on Zoom, Sharing the Arts with my long distance best friend Katie Sheehy and also getting to perform Disney’s Beauty and the Beast (I am hoping to play Mrs. Potts, Belle or Madame Armoire de la Grande Bouche), taking classes at Bergen Community College (I’ve just signed up for American Sign Language (ASL) and online classes at Coursera (I’m taking a Psychology class through Yale University where my cousin Matthew Matejka attended). 




The challenges and obstacles I’ve faced were my mental health crises, anxieties, moving onto my new life in the city that never sleeps and knowing that everything will be okay in life, because life is short.



My learning environment have been improved by having that learning curve that I’ve learned in the past school years, focusing and discussing important topics such as sexual harassment/sexual assault awareness, bullying/cyberbullying (how to deal with bullies in life), cultural diversity and disability rights and knowing what it is like to teach somebody with a disability or non-disabled learn about disability rights and human psychology, because everything will be changing in the near future and online learning is the best when you are bored or have nothing to do in life.



The advice I might have for teachers and professors is focusing and discussing what important topics are available in universities, schools and online learning, because everything will be entirely based on what your students’ majors are using and teaching what their future will be in when they graduate or moving on in life. 



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