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April 12, 2024

Mr. Sanes, a New Special Education Teacher


There has been a large variety of new community members that have come to UAM. Students and teachers alike, one of these many newcomers is Mr. Sanes. He is a new teacher at UAM this year who primarily works with special needs kids. 

Mr. Sanes discussed the challenges that he has faced in this new environment and new experiences he has had, as well as his motives behind coming to UAM, his teaching methods, and what inspired him to become a teacher.

“So, I am a special education teacher who specializes in math. I work with kids in the Horizon Program, which is a program made strictly for kids with autism in a self-contained classroom. The Horizon Program generally populates high schools. Kids in the Horizon Program require guidance and support … whether it be emotional, social, or cognitive.” 

Before coming to UAM, Mr. Sanes worked as a paraprofessional. During his time as a paraprofessional, he believed that focusing his career around supporting special needs kids was a perfect choice for him. He wanted to take a step up from that role and find other roles that allowed him to help special needs students more frequently. In his search, he decided to come to UAM.

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“Helping special needs students and students in general find their voice and helping them to realize just how intelligent they are. Because I feel that we start to downgrade ourselves based on the fact that we need help. But that’s far beyond the truth.”

When Mr. Sanes was searching for a school, one major factor that would guarantee which school he would join was their teaching philosophies and if they match with his. Although Mr. Sanes has only been here for a short amount of time, he came to the conclusion that the culture at this school is one that fits his ideologies and is healthy for all students with special needs.

“I think that just a lot of the teachers here have the heart that I like, that I have for students. You see that there is a lot of support coming from the teachers. They try to do things that accommodate the needs of the students that help bring learning alive.”

As a teacher, one of Mr. Sanes’s many jobs is to find a way to help the students learn in the most effective way possible. During his time in UAM, he has gained a general gist of the unique culture that the students have at this school. Through more experience, he has also learned more general knowledge about students. 

“I think that each grade has its own difficulty. But I think it’s more challenging for the students in the ninth grade because you’re coming into a new setting. It’s a drastic shift to what they are used to. But here I see a lot of people who love soccer, which has been new for me, because the schools that work there were like, I like to play basketball more. And that was their focus, it was a big surprise.”

As a teacher, Mr. Sanes has to regularly interact with the parents of the students to give constant updates on their child’s performance in class. Mr. Sanes has a clear preference on how to update the students’ parents. He believes that meeting parents face-to-face will allow for minimal confusion and allow all repressed thoughts to be released.

“I’m more of a face-to-face person. I like to sit down with the parents, because I feel there’s so much that could be, so much that’s left unsaid, while sending text messages or anything like that. I like the parents to know that I’m sincere when I’m talking to them about their child. Because my goal here is to help the student grow and if I want them to see like, ‘Hey, I’m being serious when I’m talking to you’, like, I want you to see my heart. Not only that, I want them to even come to the classroom and see the work that their son or daughter is producing. Because I think that it’s easier for me to see a grade on Google classroom and see, ‘Okay, this student has a 75. They are doing horrible.’, when that is simply not the case a majority of the time.”

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About the Contributor
Elias Ortiz
Elias Ortiz is a UAM High School sophomore who is focused on furthering his education. Elias loves to read and relax after a long day.
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