by Nancy Levitt, M.Ed., Education Partnership and Student Teaching Coordinator
Local author and 44-year veteran teacher Sharon Benaderet–Cohen recently spoke to Chestnut Hill College’s 22 student teachers about her teaching career and her book, “Touch a Life.”
Sharon did not sugar coat the realities of teaching, but rather illuminated a pathway for success and enjoyment. She believes in seeing the good in your students, tapping into their strengths, and forming partnerships with families. Sharon generously gifted everyone a copy of “Touch a Life” in which she shares 16 personal teaching stories.
“The quote that stood out to me, which is so true, is ‘Teach the student, not the label,’” said Terri Simpson, an undergraduate student teacher. “It is true because during my observation, I have witnessed students who I felt would be ‘challenging.’ When I took the time to get to know one student who others had labeled as difficult, I tried to give her what she needed, even if it was only for 45 minutes, because she needed that individualized attention to be productive.”
Kerianne Mullen, another student teacher, enjoyed Sharon’s shared personal stories. Kerianne liked that she was honest about her mistakes and open about her successes. As a future special education teacher, Kerianne found it interesting to see how special education has changed over the years, and for the better. She cannot wait to read her book and learn more from Sharon.