Name: Ana Martinez
Position: Student Support Assistant (SSA)
Originally I was hired into Seneca in 2013 as a Mental Health Counselor at Pathfinder and I transferred to All-In South Bay because of their need for Spanish bilingual SSA.
“You may write me down in history with your bitter twist lies. You may trod me in the very dirt, but still like dust, I’ll rise. “ – Maya Angelou
What does your average day look like?
I arrive to the school and prep activities for the day. I make sure that all of the sensory tools and any special activities are prepared for the student that I am the lead SSA on the case. Usually I greet the student when they arrive, and depending on how they enter we go straight to class or find alternative locations to do sensory activities to ease our way into the day. I spend the whole day – other than breaks, lunches and the last hour of the day – with students. I work in kindergarten classes, 1st grade and 3rd grade. Some classes I provide support in classroom management, but mostly it is spending time 1:1 with students that have higher needs. After checking in and spending some time supporting various other students, I return to 3rd grade where I work 1:1 with the student until the end of the day. Some days he is unable to remain in class safely so our alternative plan could be watching a movie, making structures out of cardboard, playing with chalk, making forts out of chairs and a blanket, or helping other classrooms with social emotional lesson plans. Our daily activities vary depending on the student’s tolerance for remaining in the classroom, but the student enjoys playing with kinetic sand, blowing bubbles, and playing tag.
Why do you do this work?
This work requires me to work with people and to learn clear communication skills within teams and with individuals. Being able to have small victories throughout the day means that from consistent pushes out of our own comfort zones, the creation of new ideas allows for our own personal growth and successes for our students.
What hope do you have for the future of All-In?
My hope for the future of All-In is that there is more implementation and more awareness around sensory needs displayed by students and our staff can create interventions to meet those needs.