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Ms. Smagalski

I grew up in Petaluma, CA. A small town famous for its chickens and cows. I have been teaching at Van Ness for less than one year. The most important thing my students have taught me is everyone has a story to tell, and patience is the key to learning and teaching. My favorite thing about Van Ness is the welcoming community of positivity and respect that the staff and students create on a daily basis. What makes Van Ness Elementary unique and special is the superb level of the integration. This school embraces its diversity and differently-abled children with its whole heart.Van Ness is the school that opened my eyes to being a special education teacher. The students and staff at this school inspired me to pursue a special education career.

What I love most about my job is helping my students reach their potential academically, socially, and vocationally. I always strive to prepare them for the world as successful global citizens of society. My students inspire me. They teach me new lessons and always have interesting perspectives everyday. I would describe my teaching style as activity-style. I love to promote self-learning and exploration in my classroom. I also focus on modeling the behaviors that I expect from my students daily.