The following was submitted by Elizabeth Pollock.
“I teach 6th grade at Golden Fields Elementary School in the Daybreak community of South Jordan, UT. Our school is brand new and just opened last month. We are lucky enough to house cluster classes for students with intellectual disabilities.
Ashley Calhoun is the teacher in the 4th through 6th grade cluster class. She has 10 or 11 of the sweetest, but also extremely challenging students. Although we have only been in school for about two weeks, I have been amazed at her positive attitude, patience, and love for these students.
The students in Ashley’s class struggle with any changes in their daily routine. Going to a brand new school has been difficult for many of them. Some of the students require individualized attention and creative solutions to difficult situations. Ashley does all of this with a smile on her face. She is always out at the bus to meet her students and help them get to class. She works hard to figure out what is important to each student and creates rewards based on these individual needs. She and her aides work tirelessly to not only get these students through the day, but to make the day great for each and every one of them.
I have taught school for 20 years and have never seen someone work as hard as Ashley. These students need someone to be their advocate and their friend. They have both in Mrs. Calhoun. I know first hand that the job of a teacher often goes unrecognized. I doubt that Ashley would think that she was doing anything out of the ordinary but that is what makes her so special. Being kind, patient, and loving is just who she is. I don’t know Ashley well. We have only worked together for 2 weeks. My classroom just happens to be near hers and I see and hear how she interacts with her students and helps them when they struggle. I am thankful for her example.”