Megan Roop works with students on function academics


Alice Addair, Staff Writer

Megan Roop isn’t just any teacher. Megan Roop is a “Function Academics” teacher, so she has a different job than most other teacher.

“In my program, students are taught Math and ELA/Reading skills at their instructional level,” she said.

Roop has a four year old daughter named Charlotte and a boxer named Tess. This is her 7th year as a teacher. Formerly, she was a co-teacher in 8th grade Math and Language Arts.

It takes patience and kindness to be a special education teacher. Roop enjoys her job, and has dreamed of it for years.

“I always knew that I wanted to be a teacher,” she said. “In my senior year of high school, I was able to work as a peer tutor in the Special Education classroom at my school and that is when I fell in love with this type of classroom.”

Roop believes her biggest strength as a teacher is her ability to go with the flow.

“It’s really important to be patient and flexible in a position like mine, because we are constantly having to adjust plans and schedules from day to day,” she said.

Most teachers teach by a philosophy, and Roop is no different.

“My teaching philosophy would be to always keep expectations high for all students, realizing that those expectations are also different for every kid,” she said.

Roop believes that students who misbehave need education more than punishment.

“Students must be taught self discipline, because typically they don’t come to us with much,” she said. “I believe consistency is most important when dealing with behavior, no matter what.”

Sometimes, teachers build a special bond with students. Roop fondly remembers a student who had a big impact on her life.

“My most memorable student wasn’t even a student that I taught, but he has changed me forever,” Roop said. “This particular kid gave me a daily ‘Bear Hug’ and slung me around. He tried my patience and everyone else’s, as well, but I really loved him and wanted what was best for him. I tried to keep him in check and still stay in contact with him even though he is in high school.”

School is all about education, and Roop certainly feels she has learned a lot from her students.

“My students teach me the type of patience and self-control that I wouldn’t learn anywhere else,” Roop said. “Most days, I am faced with a very challenging situation with a student and I have to be ready to handle it in a calm and professional way, which is kind of opposite of my personality.”

If she could change one thing about the school, Roop would change the retention policy.

“Students are not held accountable for their grades like they should be,” she said.

Working as a teacher already is not easy, but working as a special education teacher is particularly difficult.

“As a special education teacher, not only am I responsible for teaching, planning, and grading, but also special education paperwork such as re-evaluations and IEPs,” Roop said. “I think my job requires much more modification of work and individualization for kids. Most of my students are each on different reading levels and math levels.”

The most difficult part of her job is finding the time to do all the required special education paperwork.

“I have kids in my room from 7:35-2:45 every single day,” Roop said. “In the mornings, I have all 15 kids in the room. Then they break off and go to related arts classes or science and social studies and I have groups by grade level all day. We focus heavily on reading, writing, and functional mathematics.”

Special needs students can be found in many regular academic classes, as well. Roop has some advice for academic teachers working with those students.

“All students do not learn the same way,” she said. “Be creative, think outside of the box, and be gracious and patient.”