Frank Talerico – Special Education and Study Skills
September 9, 2020
At Lincoln, what will be your primary role?
My primary roles are Special Education Case Manager and Study Skills (Learning Center) Teacher. I assist my students with their goals, accommodations, modifications, etc., and ensure that their academic and social-emotional needs are met. I also check in regularly with the families of my students. Lastly, I have the chance to check in with most of the general education teachers at Lincoln to help them with anything Special Education-related.
Before coming to Lincoln, what was your job and what did you do at that job?
Before Lincoln, I was at Roosevelt High School, taking on the same role(s) that I have now at Lincoln. Before Roosevelt, I was a teacher at Alliance Charter Academy in Oregon City. I taught in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. as a general education/Special Education teacher (Social Studies, English, Math, and Special Education), and I also taught in Cleveland, Ohio for a short period of time.
Where did you go to school?
I went to Florida Atlantic University for my Bachelor’s Degree and earned my Master’s Degree from the University of Missouri (Master of Education in Learning, Teaching and Curriculum with an Emphasis in Social Studies Education).
What are some things you are excited about at Lincoln?
I am really excited to start at Lincoln! I have lived in the downtown area for eight years, and I have always wanted to teach here. My daughter, Aubrie, is a 10th grader, and I am glad I will be teaching at the school she attends. I have heard many, many great things about Lincoln, and I am ready to get started with the new school year. I am also looking into starting a chapter of the Junior State of America (JSA), a student-driven organization which functions like a mock congress. I will most likely start the Lincoln JSA chapter when we return to school on campus. There are many great opportunities with this organization, including a possible yearly trip to Washington, D.C. for a national convention!
What led you to work in the Special Education field?
There was no specific moment or reason that led me to a career as a Special Education teacher. I have always been an advocate for underserved and underrepresented people throughout my life, and I believe my career as a Special Education teacher gives me the chance to support students and families who need help maneuvering through their academic process. Additionally, I was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes when I was 12 years old, and this change in my life had a huge impact on my overall adolescence, both positively and negatively. As a result, I did not always have the greatest experiences throughout my own middle and high school years. My decision to become a Special Education educator was influenced by wanting to help students who have struggles and experiences similar to my own. More than anything, I want to create a positive and meaningful educational experience for all my students, especially those who may struggle with finding success in school.
What is your favorite thing about being a teacher?
I love having the chance to build meaningful relationships with my students, and help them to have the best possible academic experience possible. Teachers play many, many different roles in their students’ lives, and I love that I have the opportunity to be a positive part of this.
What are some things you do in your free time?
I am really close with my wife and daughters, and we get along really well, so spending time with them is always my number one priority. I also love to cook (I am pretty good!), read and exercise. I used to play golf all the time when I was in Florida, but I have not had the chance to get out there and play as much since moving to Portland.
What are some things you’ve done during the quarantine?
I wanted to try and meet virtually with all of the students (and their families) who I case manage before starting the new school year. I devoted a great deal of time doing this, and I was able to meet some amazing people in the process. I also wanted to start establishing relationships with my students, since I will be working closely with them (and their families) over the coming years. I did do a great deal of cooking/baking, exercising, walking around downtown and spending time with my family, too.