Both physical education and higher level math classes can be difficult for students
with a significant 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 benefitted 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
programing. 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 inclusionary 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.