E4E Teachers Talk Back: Rachel Goehler
Rachel Goehler teaches high school in a 6-1-1 setting at P.S. 223Q, a District 75 school in Queens.
Rachel shares why she is so passionate towards her students and urges other teachers to fight for the best education for their students.
How did you get into teaching?
I come from a family of educators, including my mom and dad. My mom used to take me to work with her and she had a lot of students with disabilities in her classroom. Seeing her passion for her kids and the challenges her kids faced really inspired me. Then in high school I started volunteering in a special education classroom and I haven’t looked back since then!
What is it about special education that is so appealing to you?
Making these kids laugh and smile is the best thing in the world to me. A lot of times my students are laughed at, picked on, or picked last for teams and if I can be the person to make them happy and laugh, that’s an amazing feeling. And when they laugh it is so real - their emotions are so pure. When they’re happy it’s true happiness, so if they’re passion about something (even if it’s Just for Men hair dye), you know it and it’s so motivating.
Why do you feel like you need to fight for your kids?
I don’t want them to be forgotten about and I don’t want them to be invisible. My students won’t be able to be independent and functional if they’re held to general education standards. Those standards were not designed with them in mind and they don’t set my kids up for success.
What message do you send to teachers?
If you love what you do and you have a passion for what you do, you’re going to want to fight for your kids. The fight starts with understanding the policy and understanding how it affects your kids. You have to fight to make sure they’re getting the best education they can get, in whatever way that means, for them.