Tim Sturm says he has the best of both worlds.
His passion is working with children who have disabilities and finding in each of them the unique quality that is individual and special. But his profession—and the way he spends every day of the work week—is teaching tomorrow’s special educators.
“Special education teachers have such overwhelming responsibility,” he says. “The person who has the most impact on the life of a child with disabilities—outside of the parents—is the child’s teacher. Students in our special education program are awe-struck when they realize the profound impact they will have on the development of young lives. It’s rewarding to teach the teachers who will make such a difference in the world.”
Although teaching at a small, rural college is a conscious lifestyle choice for the Sturm family, he is quick to point to the challenges facing special education teachers in Vermont. Because schools are small and special education needs cannot be easily clustered, teachers don’t have the luxury of specialization.
“Vermont special ed teachers are further out on the front lines than in other states,” he says. “They have to know a lot about a lot. Lyndon is committed to preparing them to work in the inclusive environments that await them.”