Larissa Neugebauer

Special Education Teacher

Began at Teachwell:

 2019

Why did you choose this field?

From a young age, I was drawn to opportunities to work or volunteer serving people. My favorite experiences were times I worked with kids, such as Sunday school, etc. When I shadowed a special ed. teacher, I instantly fell in love with the job and the students. Every experience working with my students over my years of volunteering and teaching has reaffirmed my desire and passion to teach students in special education.

What did you think you were going to be when you grew up?

When I was growing up, I went through many phases: veterinarian, actress, author, youth pastor, social worker, and pretty much any other profession I could read about in a book. However all throughout my schooling, I loved learning in every subject area, and I had a curious mind, always wanting to learn more. Teaching was the profession that perfectly combined my love of learning with my passion for working with kids.

What or who most inspires you?

Resiliency, integrity, and generosity are qualities that I admire the most in people. People who can face poor situations in life and rise above them with grace to better their circumstances or change the status quo are inspiring. People who choose to let their actions speak louder than their words are inspiring to me. And people who focus more on what they can give than what they can receive, inspire me.

Why Teachwell?

One of a teacher’s roles that I value most, is preparing students to be respectful, responsible, and kind citizens. I am always looking for opportunities to teach skills for independence and character development, and there are many more authentic opportunities to teach those skills at a secondary setting. Teachwell McCrossan allows me to fill that valuable role as a teacher, participate in creative and engaging learning opportunities, and work with my favorite population of students: youth at risk.

What are you proudest of?

I feel the proudest as a teacher when I get to watch my students grow academically, socially, and emotionally. I have seen remarkable progress in many of my students when they receive just the right instruction and support. I am filled with joy when my students recognize the progress within themselves and develop self-confidence.

How do you hope to make a difference?

I believe character development skills are some of the most important skills teachers can focus on in schools. If I can teach and reinforce important lifelong skills like persevering through difficult tasks, taking the initiative to ask questions when unsure, making requests in a polite manner, treating peers with kindness, being good citizens by taking care of the classroom, and taking responsibility for their own actions/materials, I will make a difference that will extend beyond any one math lesson or English concept they learn with me. Those lessons they can apply to any future teacher/employer they encounter.

What lessons has your work life taught you?

We all thrive on routine: teachers and students alike. Sometimes, it takes a lot of creativity to guide students to the end goal. Have fun with what you teach. Most importantly, every child can learn.

What is your background experience – degrees, experience, skills?

I graduated from Augustana University with a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education and Special Education. For the past few years, I taught special education at an elementary school in Sioux Falls.

People would be surprised to know that I . . .

am a singer and I have been involved in various choirs most of my life.