UHCL student knows special ed is her true calling in life

Sarah Robicheaux has known her professional calling for most of her life. As the older sister of a sibling with Down’s Syndrome, the University of Houston-Clear Lake senior knows that teaching children with special needs is where she’s meant to be.

Robicheaux, 27, lives in Alvin and will receive her bachelor’s degree in education with a dual certification in early childhood-6th and early childhood-12th special education Dec18. “I’ve done my internship at Dan Kubacak Elementary in Santa Fe Independent School District, and I have substitute taught in Santa Fe for four years,” she said.

She won Substitute Teacher of the Year in 2017-18 for Roy J. Wollam Elementary School in Santa Fe ISD. Her close ties to the students and teachers in Santa Fe made the shooting that occurred on May 18 at Santa Fe High School even more painful. “It’s a small district, and everyone knows everyone,” she said. “The experience definitely changed everyone, including me. I never asked myself if I was willing to die for my chosen profession, but I had to wonder if I would die for my kids.”

She said she examined herself and her desire to be a teacher. “I still want to be a teacher, no matter what,” she said. “I’ve been living special education with my little brother since I was five. I could see how mistreated he was when he was little. There was no inclusion at that time, and he was stuck in a classroom with kids who were more disabled than he was, and he wasn’t learning.”

Her mother battled to get him into a mainstream classroom, Robicheaux said, and to get him a special education teacher who was willing to teach him at his level. “No matter how big the tragedy, nothing will change my mind,” she said. “My little brother inspired my calling in life.”

Now that she’s graduating, Robicheaux said that she has interviewed in Alvin ISD for a math resource position, and would like to reside and someday raise her own children in Santa Fe. “My ultimate goal is to have a self-contained life skills classroom,” she said. “I know this is what I am meant to be doing. If the unimaginable events on May 18th couldn’t shake it, I don’t think anything can.”

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