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Connections That Make An Impact

EDITOR’S NOTE: Over the next few weeks, FWISD will feature profiles and individual acceptance speeches from Fort Worth ISD’s 2018-2019 Academic Chairs for Teaching Excellence.

The challenging task before students in a Springdale Elementary School inclusion class put them at a point of almost giving up recently.

“You aren’t smart. You’re brilliant,” their peers told them.ceja

The words were familiar to Lori Ceja, the 2018-2019 Kroger Chair for Teaching Excellence in Special Education. It’s something she often tells children in her classroom. Her students didn’t stop there at encouraging their peers.

“You need to believe in yourself,” they said. “You need confidence just as Ms. Ceja tells us.”

That moment is an example of the impact Ms. Ceja makes in her classroom.

“I continue to teach because the connections and relationships we have with our students, they make positive impacts in their learning and they last a lifetime,” she said.

Ms. Ceja is a special education teacher at Springdale Elementary School and has been with the District nearly 20 years. She earned her bachelor’s degree in special education from Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

Her top priority as a teacher is straightforward – build positive and trusting relationships. She believes children learn and become successful when they know they’re loved, cared for, heard, and accepted.

Ms. Ceja says being recognized as a teaching chair is about her students.