The following was submitted by Sonia La'ulu.
"Before I describe the reasons why I think Ms. Findlay deserves the KSL Teacher Feature Award, allow me to set the stage. My 6 year old son has mild autism, and while he is “high functioning”, there are times when he becomes frustrated and upset.
Many times, it’s hard for ME to determine what has caused him to become agitated. With a class full of 6 year olds, it’s understandable that the cause of stress is even harder to determine! Luckily he is very bright and doesn’t require a lot of help, academically. It would be so easy to become frustrated with our son, because he requires extra work and doesn’t fit the normal expectations – but Ms. Findlay has been just the opposite! She has been so helpful and I can honestly tell that she cares for our son and his well-being.
Since the beginning of the year, Ms. Findlay has been in contact and working with us to do what she can to help our son. We have had meetings at the school and been in contact frequently. She has talked with the school counselor and received advice on ways to help our son recognize his feelings and try to express what he’s feeling, prior to having it escalate to a point that is greatly upsetting to him and disruptive to the class.
Recently, she has involved other staff at the school and has counseled with them on strategies she can implement to help our son cope with different disappointments and struggles. When she told me about these efforts she explained, “I am one of those teachers that is always trying to learn new things and ways that I can best help my students.” I just love that she said that! Now, if that’s not care and concern for her students, I don’t know what is!!
I already think teachers are heroes! But Ms. Findlay is a SUPERHERO! I can tell based upon her actions and words that she genuinely cares for her students, wants to help them learn, grow, and succeed."