Coral Rondeau was previously a teacher in the Wachusett School District. She is now teaching in the RISE Program, a home base for students on the autism spectrum.
What was something interesting you did over the summer?
I did a 5k. It was called the Ridiculous Obstacle Course. It was like the show wipeout. It was like all those things that you have seen on wipeout but it was spread out at Gillette Stadium.
Is there a motto that you stick by everyday in the class?
Take one thing at a time. Even as a student I was fixated on how much progress I was making. I could be really hard on myself. I think it is important to reflect where you came from and be really proud of where you are. I don’t want anyone to stress themselves out in class. We are here right now, we are doing this activity, thinking what do you need to do right now to be successful. That is all we are worried about.
Can you tell a big difference between Brookline and Wachusett?
I will say in Wachusett we did not have the culture of students having a lot of freedom and responsibility. That is a big difference, every door was locked at my last school. Anyone that entered had to show ID and license. I like that the students have the freedom as long as you are responsible.
What was your high school experience like?
I went to Blackstone Middle Regional. 9/11 happened when I was a freshman and that changed everything. The doors were always locked, you had to be buzzed in, you could not leave campus at all. We never had a free block, we were always accounted for. If we had an open period it was a study hall and you had to show up. If you weren’t in class at like 7:30 when school began your parents would get a phone call immediately.
Do you still play the flute?
I will pick it up every once in awhile. I really wished I played more. I need to get back in the habit of doing that. It did not come naturally to me. Blackstone Middle where I went to highschool they have a really strong music program, so it was kind of a no-brainer. Every student plays an instrument, and I chose the flute and it wasn’t easy I really had to practice but I got to a point because I worked so hard that I excelled and would make the Central District All State Band.