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Sally Robinson thought her teaching career would take place in the gym, but she now believes she is right where she is supposed to be.

Robinson is a special education teacher at Duncan Elementary School. Her classroom includes students in grades K – 4 with emotional and behavioral disorders. Robinson set out to have a career teaching health and physical education. Because there was a hiring freeze when she entered the workforce, she spent almost a decade working in a children’s residential program. It changed her path.

Now in her fifth year at Duncan Elementary, Robinson has found her niche.

“I fought it for a long time, but it is my testimony,” she said. “God wanted me to do it. Someone needs to do it — and that’s me.”

Robinson works with her students first on behaviors and then on academics.

“Part of my job is helping them understand what you can and can’t do,” she said. “It’s not like a broken arm. You can’t cast it and six weeks later it’s OK.”

Robinson said her students learn things that others take for granted. Seeing their progress thrills her and motivates her to continue.

“Last year, I had three children go into a general education classroom and now they are there full time,” she said.

Robinson has been married for 35 years and is the mother of two. She is looking forward to the arrival of her first grandchild soon. But 180 days each year, she has a room filled with her other children.

“I’m very passionate,” she said. “These are my babies. I want the very best for them. I want them to have that chance to have a successful life.”

Beyond their educational success, Robinson serves as an advocate for her students’ acceptance. Her classroom provides the structure, love and support they need to achieve their very best. And Robinson wouldn’t have it any other way.

“They just want to be accepted like every other child,” she said. “They want to be a friend. They have the best hearts.”

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