Name: Luis Armando OrtegaSubjects / Classes Taught: Reading Essentials Periods 1/7, Algebra Inclusion Periods 2, 3, 6.Degree(s): California State University, Fullerton
Teacher Credential/M.S. Special Education – May 2002
California State University, Dominguez Hills
B.A. Liberal Studies with a Sociology Concentration – December 1999
How the birth of my son and the loss of my daughter has made me a better teacher!!
About 10 years ago , my son Adam was born 2 months premature. The result of that unfortunate circumstance was
Brain damage due to lack of oxygen to his brain and he now has Cebral Palsy. Adam could not walk until he was almost 3 years of age and was not able to fully communicate until almost 4 years of age. Adam wears lesg braces and needs occupational therapy as well as speech therapy. He will need care for the rest of his life in one form or another. About 7 years ago, my daughter Alyssa Rose had a drowning accident at 14 months and she passed away.
I am very often asked “how do you deal with it all?”. My answer to that question is not easy to answer at times . The truth is that I have many “bad “ days and work through them the best I can. However, both of these events that have occurred in my life have made me become a better person and better teacher . It is not that I was not a good person before or that I was not a good teacher before. These events have taught me the true value of life and how I never take anything for granted. Even waking up in the morning and doing the simple things such as getting out of bed and putting shoes on are things that I am thankful for. People ask why I am so grateful for such normal things that we do everyday. Well, the fact that my own son cannot do many simple things and the fact that my daughter will never have the chance to do any of those simple things really hits home and that is why I am so thankful and grateful. The circumstances in my life also have also helped me become a more productive and efficient teacher both in and out of the classroom. I find that I relate to my students in a way that shows them I care about what happens to the both at school and in their lives in general. Many of the students I work with are in Special Education. However, I also work with students in General Education as well and many of these students have come back after they graduated to convey to me how my influence while they were students of mine has made a difference in the way they live their own lives. This is very touching and to me, it is in honor of my daughter that I attempt to make a difference everyday I have the chance to in the lives of my students. When the opportunity presents itself. I share certain aspects of what my children have gone through to some of students and students I coach in sports. I tell them that I am not trying to preach to them or make them feel bad in anyway . I just share with them about the privaledge they have been afforded to live the life they live. Yes , I wish my daughter was here and that my son could live a normal life. However, I know that others , even just here in this city, have gone through worse. This is why, I live life to its fullest and am gratefull and thankful for all that I have given. I count it a huge blessing to be a teacher and be afforded the chance to make a difference in students lives I work with.
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- Clubs sponsored/Sports coached: Football Coach Central High School 1 Year , Trevor Browne High School 1 Year, Wrestling Coach South Mountain High School 2 years , Softball Coach Maryvale High School 2 Years