Education - Teachers First

Dec 14, 2010 2:06 PM by Andy Koen

Teacher draws on background to help struggling students

Learning to read is the basic building block of education, but for some students it doesn't come easy. That's where the talent of a special education teacher is invaluable.

Peggy Wolf, our December Teachers First award winner, currently works at Carlile Elementary in Pueblo. However, Wolf says she knew early on that special ed was her calling.

"I always seemed to seek out the students that weren't the easy ones to teach," Wolf said. "They needed something more and I like that because it brought out my creativity."

That creativity means sometimes looking answers in unexpected places. A few years ago she tutored a middle school student who struggled to read.

"I actually taught the student how to play a harmonica because I was able to discover that his reading fluency problems were not a decoding problem, they were a breathing problem," Wolf explained.

Not all of Peggy's 38 years have been spent in the classroom. For a time she worked at the library teaching adults how to read, and later doing the same in the prison system.

"I developed a tutor program within the prison system so that inmates could tutor other inmates."

But her love for children eventually brought her back to the classroom, and with it a unique ability to help students overcome learning disabilities.

"You have to be them," Wolf said. "You have to make yourself think like them so that you know how they're putting information together."

Because of her dedication to increase literacy at every age, Peggy Wolf is our December Teachers First Award recipient.

Click here to tell us about a special teacher in your child's life by nominating them.

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