The paraeducator was nominated by her peers, “Cammie is always so prepared and beyond enthusiastic to help out anyone anytime.”
By: Cara Martinez
Foundation for Blind Children paraeducator, Cameron Smith, receives February, 2022 Star of the Month award.
“I definitely wasn’t expecting it,” says Cameron. “I guess the first thought that went through my head was, “wow”. It was nice to be recognized”, she explains.
Cameron found out about FBC when CEO Marc Ashton visited her Special Education class at Arizona State University. After speaking with Marc, she immediately added a dual major in Special Education for Visual Impairments and scheduled a tour of FBC. All on the same day.
Cameron has been a paraeducator for two years at FBC while pursuing her degree. She works full time with about eight students per class ranging from preschool to elementary education.
“Cammie is always so prepared and beyond enthusiastic to help out anyone anytime,” says a colleague who nominated Cameron to receive FBC’s Star of the Month award. “She is always so bubbly and so ready to share her optimism with anyone around. She makes working here fun and something to look forward to.”
The main role of a paraeducator is taking what the teacher has planned for students and implementing lessons logistically within the classroom. Paraeducators provide the opportunity for more one on one instruction, which is valuable to every student, especially for kids who lack vision or certain sensory inputs. The additional attention helps compensate for that loss.
Cameron says that she has seen significant progress in students’ learning after applying evidence-based research. “It is nice to see some of our blind students make connections that we have facilitated for them,” she says.
Cameron recently accepted a position as a Teacher of the Visually Impaired at North Star in Tennessee for visually impaired students who have neurological conditions. In the future, she plans to be an instructional coach to help other TVIs learn how to grow into being their own kind of teachers.
“I am very grateful for FBC,” says Cameron. “They have prepared me and given me hands-on experience, knowledge, and training. I feel like I have already worked with the best in the field, and I couldn’t have had a better foundation going into my career.”