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Meet the Staff: Ms. Coates

Not everyone operates at the same pace, the world would be one boring machine if that were the case. But when referring to education in this sense, learning difficulties can arise and make it harder for some to perform on an educational level and eventually a professional level. Thankfully there are special education programs that can accommodate those students and a new teacher in our school that can lend us some aid in that area.

Oakland Mills High School’s (OMHS) new Special Education teacher is Ms.Te’Keisha Coates. According to Ms. Coates, in her words, “Helping people has been something that I’ve been interested in, and so Special Ed is just a way in which I can help.” Though this wasn’t her initial direction for work.

Ms. Coates had originally gone to Morgan State University for business administration, but her interest in teaching and her experience began during her second half of freshman year when she worked at an after school program. From there, Ms. Coates had transferred to Hood College which had a program that enabled her to receive dual certification in elementary and special ed teaching. Before coming to Oakland Mills, Ms. Coates had been working at a special education school in Bethesda, Maryland, for ten years. But when she came to Oakland Mills, she described it as “ an eye-opening experience” thanks to the integration of special education into the general education classes.

As a special education teacher, Ms. Coates assists students who are having difficulty making adequate performance in their classes or staying on grade level with each subject’s content. Special Education teachers provide accommodations and/or modifications in order to ensure that a student can access the curriculum and perform adequately. According to Ms. Coates, her experience with teaching students makes her feel like a benefactor, for both special and general education, as she also co-teaches some science classes as well.

The most challenging part of being a teacher for Ms.Coates is getting the students to trust in their teachers. In her experience, students may have a hard time allowing adults in general to guide them because they believe that the adults don’t identify with the experiences that adolescents have gone through; when in fact, they are more alike than they think.

With a truly caring personality and 10 years of teaching under her belt, Ms. Coates is the teacher who will always be in your corner academically. She is dedicated to helping students and intends to keep at it even into the future. So if you ever need any assistance, you should ask Ms. Coates for help.

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