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Inside CPS

News and Stories from across the District

Rogers Elementary School Educator Off to a Strong Start Teaching Special Education

26 January 2023

Mr. Audisho wants every student to have fun while learning. 

Mr. Audisho

Mr. Odi Audisho believes that it is an immense privilege and responsibility to be able to shape the foundation of a student’s life as an educator, whether it be academically or behaviorally. He routinely thinks about a saying from one of his relatives that has stuck with him throughout the years: “It is better to work with children than it is to work with adults.” This saying also reminds him that working with kids is a genuinely enjoyable job. 

Beyond encouraging them to enjoy every moment, another piece of advice that Mr. Audisho would give to a new teacher would be to expect the unexpected. He doesn’t mean this in a negative sense; he simply believes that the needs of every group of students will be different, and, as an educator, it’s up to you to tailor your approach to meet them where they are. 

For example, before joining Rogers Elementary School as a first-grade special education teacher this year, Mr. Audisho would have told you that math is his favorite subject to teach. However, this year, some of his students have struggled with obtaining new skills in math, such as mastering adding and subtracting using a number line. This has meant that he has spent more time than anticipated repeating these lessons, while also relying on small group instruction to differentiate lessons for students who are ahead. 

“In my first year at Rogers, I can’t really think of anything too challenging that has come my way because of all the help and support I have received,” said Mr. Audisho. “We have had some new students who aren’t English speaking, which has required me to model behaviors so they will understand.” 

Over the past several months, Mr. Audisho’s classroom has welcomed a new student who speaks Vietnamese and a new student who speaks Russian. He has focused on allowing his students to take the lead in creating an inclusive learning environment for these students. He notes that giving them this responsibility holds them accountable for practicing good behavior. 

A decorated school hallway

Recently, one of these new students had the opportunity to stand in front of the class to help teach the letters and sounds the class was learning. And, while Mr. Audisho notes that the student was a little shy, he says that he did a great job. 

Since he is new to both the Rogers community and teaching special education, Mr. Audisho explains that this year has also been a learning experience for him. 

“I feel like I’ve been here for years even though it’s only been several months because everyone has been so helpful, and I feel like I’ve heard mainly positive things about my teaching,” said Mr. Audisho. “I did receive some feedback that sometimes I say everything using the same tone, so I’ve worked on being more animated in the classroom so I am more clear.”

Mr. Audisho teaches in an inclusive classroom space that is co-occupied by both general education students and diverse learners. Because of this setup, he has prioritized building a strong relationship with Mrs. Burns, who teaches general education in his classroom and has been at Rogers for about a decade. 

“Mrs. Burns and I are working together pretty much all day, every day, and while I focus on my special education students, I also have the chance to work with all 20 students in our classroom, which is pretty awesome,” said Mr. Audisho. “I hope students remember both me and Mrs. Burns as individuals who have taught them so much.” 

His students’ time in first grade is more than halfway done, and Mr. Audisho says that he expects the second half of the school year to go by even faster than the first half. For now, he is committed to ensuring they enjoy their time in his classroom and are well-prepared to succeed in the future. 

“My kids are all sweethearts. They’ve been such a good class to teach and hang out with,” said Mr. Audisho. “I want them to keep building on the progress they’ve made so far, while also remembering to have fun while they’re at school. Because if you are having fun while learning, there’s nothing more that you can ask for.”

Philip Rogers School sign on top of a mural

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