Editor's Note: This is part of a series of stories highlighting Elmore County teachers.
Yeterius Mobley has spent the past 22 years at Eclectic Elementary School as a special education teacher. But she said she discovered joy in special needs students before she even stepped foot on a school campus as a teacher.
“I was working at Alabama State University at the Acadome,” she said. “The Special Olympics was held there and I worked with some of the special needs kids and it was a true joy for me.”
Mobley already earned an undergraduate degree in finance and a Master of Business Administration and was working at ASU.
“So, I thought about it,” she said. “Since I was working at ASU, I could take classes for half price.”
Mobley eventually landed at Eclectic Elementary School 22 years ago and has held the same job since Day 1.
She said the job is rewarding even when students accomplish tasks adults take for granted.
“I noticed when I was teaching in my earlier years something as simple as two plus two means something to these kids,” she said. “I had a student one year who could not get it no matter how I taught. Finally, she did. She was able to grasp the concept of addition. That’s the joy.”
Mobley said her classroom has evolved over the years.
“When I started, I worked with students who had intellectual disabilities (ID),” she said. “Today, I have a variety of students that may have autism, specific learning disabilities (SLD), other health impairments (OHI).”
She said different approaches are needed for each student.
“When I first started I had seven skids and they all were ID,” she said. “Now, it is a variety of disabilities and grade levels. You have to find each student’s learning style and teach from there. It is a different approach for each student.”
Mobley said she enjoys learning from other special education teachers.
“I like to collaborate and work with other teachers,” she said. “We are all still learning. Sometimes I go into a classroom and see other ways teachers are doing it. I can bring that back and interact with my students on different levels.”
Her level of instruction touches all aspects of what is delivered in the classroom.
“I teach reading and math,” she said. “They can come to me for help with other skills. They will stay in their class and get the instruction from their regular teacher. I’ll pull them out and reinforce those skills.”
Mobley said it is the school’s leadership that keeps her commuting from Montgomery to Eclectic.
“The school is very good,” she said. “We have great administrators who work with us. Mr. (Timothy) Turley and Mr. (Tim) Collier are good to work for. We have strong leadership here.”