Monday, July 14, 2014
Latham Profiles: Amie Gould
What do you enjoy most about your job?
"I love when a student comes running up to me saying, “Amie, Amie, you’re going to be so proud of me, I used the skill you taught me and it really worked!!!!” I enjoy when the students are proud of themselves for using a coping skill that we have practiced over and over again in the classroom. When they are able to use it in a situation that may have been challenging for them in the past, successfully, I know the hard work was worth it!"
Describe a few of your responsibilities and how you spend much of your time.
"I am a classroom teacher at Latham Centers. A few of my responsibilities include creating interesting and meaningful lesson plans, and managing the classroom. I also help create individualized education plans, and give input on behavior support plans. When I’m with the students, I am responsible for teaching them and practicing important social skills, supporting them in times of need, and creating an environment that is safe and conducive to individual growth."
What skills are most important for professionals who work with individuals with PWS?
"I believe the most important skills one must have when working with individuals with PWS are patience, humility, creativity, and flexibility."
What are the most important lessons you attempt to teach new staff?
"The most important lesson I attempt to teach new staff at Latham is to follow the students’ plans. The plans are put in place for a reason, and it is very important to know the plans of the individuals you are working with. I also stress that you must take student concerns seriously and attempt to make a plan with them on how they should handle it. The student needs to know that their voice is being heard. I also think it is important for new staff to ask lots of questions and feel comfortable enough to do so in the moment."
What do you love about working with individuals with PWS?
"I love my students’ sense of humor, which can arise in just about any situation. When the day has been tough, one sly joke or comment can make your heart melt. I love their determination and will to succeed in everything they do. I love their caring and compassionate nature for others. I love seeing them smile and hearing them laugh, and hoping that I was just a small part of making their day a little less difficult, and little more enjoyable."
Has this job taught you anything about yourself?
"Working at Latham Centers has taught me so much about myself. It has honestly been a life changing experience. I was young and did not know what I wanted to do with my career. Through working with the students and staff at Latham, I have realized many skills that I never knew I had. My patience and kindness with others has helped me to form meaningful relationships, and positive experiences with my students. Latham has also given me confidence in myself that I did not have before. The staff and the students have guided me in overcoming many personal fears with their gentle and caring support that I will always be grateful for."
How do you spend your time when you’re not working at Latham?
"When I’m not at Latham, I’m usually thinking about Latham, but……. I try to relax and enjoy Cape Cod. I was born and raised on the Cape and still have many family members and friends that live here. I try to unwind by taking long walks, going to the beach, and I also take a Pilate’s class once a week. I enjoy spending time with my family and also spend time on my fiancés family farm in Truro."
What advice would you give to someone contemplating a career at Latham Centers?
"If I could give advice to someone contemplating a career at Latham Centers, I would encourage them to learn about our population and educate themselves first. I would also encourage them to look into the many career opportunities Latham has to offer. If someone was seriously looking into a career at Latham I would definitely support them. I think very highly of this organization and believe that the individuals that live here deserve the best."