Features

REV’s Mrs. Herbert embraces concept of community with her special needs students

By VICTORIA CHUNG and MIA DELMONICO

Photos by ANTHONY HERNANDEZ and TATUM MAPES

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“The amount you get back from teaching these kids are so unique and large. It’s difficult to explain until you experience it,” says Erin Herbert, REV moderate to severe special needs teacher.

 

Redlands East Valley High School is a community with a plethora of layers, each one contributing to the vast environment that the school provides for its students.

In J-38, REV takes on a new teacher: Erin Herbert. A moderate-to-severe special needs teacher, Herbert has a genuine care for the wellbeing of her students that is more than obvious. She has taken on a new role and actively invests time and effort to integrate her students into the school community and assists in creating a healthy and happy environment for everyone.

 

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“I’ve worked at a lot of schools. This is my 14th year of teaching and I was nervous coming to REV because I’m not familiar with a high school and its the huge campus, but it has been amazing. Every single person I’ve approached, every person that I’ve introduced kids to,” says Herbert.

 

“There’s also so many misconceptions with the students and I believe that is the hardest part,” says Herbert, “I look at my job as not just serving these kids, but serving the entire community at REV. I want to be here for questions. I want to be here for anyone who is looking or wondering about a disability, or saw something strange, or funny, or sweet and just wants to know if that’s normal and how to approach a kid.”

“I can talk forever about these kids.” She continues, “When you meet these kids, I know that you’re going to fall in love. Anyone that I introduce them had such an impression from my kids and now they created friendships and connections with the kids on campus. They feel included and like a community member. That’s just so important, your life needs to have all those aspects or you’re not going to be happy and complete person.”

Herbert has a goal she wants to accomplish on the foreign grounds of Redlands East Valley: to make her students feel like they are a part of the community. According to many, she has largely succeeded. Students David and Albert play an integral component of the main office. Michelle loves art and takes art with the general-education students and Assad is a passionate runner whose goal is to be in the Olympics.

The kids of J-38 help make REV a Wildcat family. J-38 has an open classroom during Fun-Friday lunch. Join them for lunch and learn about more about the Wildcats, the REV way.

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“We always follow the bell schedule, even on block days. But today, Friday is one of our best days. Some of these skills that the kids need to learn are life skills…We put on music and have a dance party. It makes the day so positive when you know that we are having a fulfilled day.
We cover all the main topics, we go to the library and the computer lab. A bunch of my kids participated in the club activities and we’re trying to get a group of them to go to Homecoming,” says Herbert.

 

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Fun Friday in Herbert’s class invites students to join in on music, food, and games.

 

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Herbert, far right, invites REV staff and students to “please come in and join us and ask questions and learn about our kids. I’m just so grateful for the community that REV provides.”

 

 

 

 

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