Georgia Carter is a new teacher for the RISE (Reaching for Independence through Structured Education) program this year. The RISE program is for students at the high school with autism. She grew up in Narragansett, Rhode Island, and in her free time, loves skiing all over New England. If given a research grant, she would use it to explore new technologies to assist her students.
Can you tell me a little bit about yourself and your background?
I was teaching at a residential school in Southborough, Massachusetts, the residential school for kids with autism, where I became connected to working with learners with disabilities. I went to college in New Hampshire, and I studied secondary education to be a history teacher.
What made you want to be a special education teacher?
Definitely my first job after college, when I worked at a residential school for learners with autism. I felt a connection to those students and a connection to the people I worked with, and it drove me into becoming a special ed teacher. I think college is when I started becoming interested in education, specifically when I was exploring new classes and looking into what careers I’d be interested in.
Who are your role models and how have they shaped your teaching?
My parents are my role models, definitely. Growing up they were always a great support system. They’re hard workers, and they’re always pushing me. They own their own businesses. My dad, he’s an architect, and they’re both in their 70s now, and they still haven’t retired. They’re just always working hard.
What is something you wish you knew in high school that you would share with your students?
Be nice to everyone, and be accepting and open-minded because when you get older, you’ll change, and you’ll become more open-minded. Also, work hard and listen to your teachers; they want the best for you.
What is a memory from high school that you would share with your students?
When I was in high school, we had a variety show where you put on different skits when you were juniors and put it on in front of the whole. I was the host and emcee, so that was a good memory.