Mrs. Claudia Ríos
I graduated in June 2014 from the University of Puerto Rico receiving a BA in Elementary Education (K-3). After a year from moving to Ocala, I started working for a local daycare. In 2016, I was hired as an ESOL Paraprofessional at Saddlewood Elementary School. Working as an ESOL Para was a rewarding experience. Helping students with different languages in a new country was like looking myself in a mirror. I did my best helping them with learning, but also making them feel loved in our school.When my son Mateo turned 2, I noticed he was experiencing developmental delays, specifically with speech and sensory needs. My local Early Steps program evaluated Mateo and confirmed his delays. He started the Early Steps program where his Infant Toddler Developmental Specialist (ITDS), Marimil Padilla, helped us tremendously, but he still required a lot of support. When he turned 3, he was accepted into ESE Pre-K. Since entering the public school system, he's been receiving Speech/Language therapy and Occupational therapy. Right now he is in kindergarten and doing well, as well as being my inspiration to keep learning and helping ESE students. Additionally, working hand in hand with an ITDS has impacted my professional aspirations.The 2018-2019 school year, the ESE Pre-K position opened, I applied for the position and got the job! During this time, I got certified for Pre-K teaching, Pre-K to 3rd, and K-6. As well as an ASD Endorsement Certification. This last year I was able to get proudly certified as an ITDS! This new opportunity also allowed me to gain additional knowledge in the coaching model, BD1-2 screeners, the autism spectrum, among many others. Now, my job is to keep helping families with Early Interventionists from the Early Steps program and be a ESE Pre-k teacher which I love, the best of both worlds!