David Taylor, Physcial Education and Mathematics Teacher, St. Stephen High School,

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Both physical education and higher level math classes can be difficult for students with a  ignificant visual impairment, but David Taylor, a teacher at St. Stephen High School, was very successful in creating a classroom where students’ educational and social needs were met, all while treating them with respect.

His willingness to learn about new technology and incorporating it into his teaching style not only benefited the student with a visual impairment, but the whole class. David thinks about the social aspects of inclusion, involving group work into his math classes to ensure everyone has the opportunity to work with their peers. He displays tremendous enthusiasm and dedication towards meeting student needs, maintaining a positive outlook and demonstrating genuine concern for the success of his students.

In her letter of nomination, colleague Beth Button noted David is a role model for collaboration and creating an inclusive learning environment. While her experience working with David is working with him to support a student who has a visual impairment, she knows that he creates the same learning experience for all of his  students.

David works tirelessly in Math and Physical Education to ensure the needs of all students are met, and is constantly working on new lesson plans and resources so that all students are able to meet curriculum outcomes while also developing strong relationships with their peers within the classroom or gymnasium.

In the gymnasium, David is always thinking about how each sport and activity can be adapted to allow everyone to participate without standing out. From spray painting badminton shuttles, to discovering the most user friendly volleyball, David ensures all  students are given the opportunity to participate in and enjoy physical education programming. He also maintains the same level of expectations from all students and everyone is encouraged to fully participate in the activities. David encourages all students to participate in class using the accommodations, promoting physical education for all.

Darren Higgins, Principal at St. Stephen High School, concluded his letter of support for
the nomination by saying St. Stephen High has embraced inclusive education whole-heartedly, and having amazing teachers like David Taylor sharing his knowledge and passion will keep their school trending upwards in terms of accepting and challenging each youth that enters their doors.

David showcases Universal Design and removes barriers to learning in higher academic classes. In previous years David taught by writing across the different boards in the classroom. In order to accommodate all learners, and become more inclusive, he now teaches using a SMART board, ensuring all students have access to the course material. His willingness to learn about new technology and incorporating it into his teaching style benefited the whole class.

In today’s inclusionary classrooms, successful educators foster learning for students with a wide range of abilities and skills to motivate them to reach their full potential. David exemplifies this and sees all students potential. He creates a safe and welcoming environment, while teaching to all students specific learning needs. St. Stephen High School is fortunate to have David as part of their school team because he embodies inclusion and encourages students to be the best they can be.

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