31 Days of SMA: Janna Leach

31 Days of SMA: Janna Leach
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Day 16 of 31 Days SMA Topic: Being a Teacher with SMA This is Janna Leach’s story: Hi! I was diagnosed with SMA as an infant. I am currently 36 years old and live in Louisiana! I have never let SMA get in the way of living my life to the fullest. As a young girl, I always wanted to be a teacher. After graduation, I attended LSU to study elementary education. I lived on my own with 24 hour caregivers. It was a job managing multiple caregivers and our schedules, but I made it possible with the help of family and friends! During my time at LSU, I was very involved in my sorority, ZTA! I was one of the first girls to go through sorority recruitment in a wheelchair. The Greek community was very accommodating and made me feel like all the other girls. My first teaching job was a 2nd grade teacher! My school was very accommodating to me. I rearranged the desk so I could easily fit down each row. They provided the technology I needed to teach. Since, I could not physically write on the board, I used a mouse to write and it projected on my smart board. The first day of school, I explained SMA to my students and allowed them to ask any questions. They were very interested in my wheelchair and I told them they were not allowed to touch my controller because it could hurt them. I wanted them to be as comfortable with me as possible. Even though I had an aide, my students always wanted to help me. I would assign them different chores each week, so they could all have a turn to help. A few weeks into the school year, I was just a regular teacher to them! The only thing I didn't like is that I could not sneak in on my students because they could hear my wheelchair! They would say "Hurry up! I hear Miss Janna coming!" Currently, I am tutoring students. I enjoy this because I get to teach one-on-one and in small groups. I love to see and hear my students say "I get it now!" I feel like I have done my job! #SMAAwarenessMonth #SMAAwareness #31daysofsma2020

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Kevin Schaefer is a writer from Cary, North Carolina with SMA Type II. He studied English at NC State University with concentrations in film studies and creative writing, and since graduating he’s been focused on freelance journalism as well as writing comic book scripts. When he’s not writing or consuming excessive amounts of comic books and movies, he enjoys spending time with family and friends and considers himself blessed that they put up with his ramblings. He is the youngest of three and lives with his parents and dog Pandora. The dog gets the most attention.
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Kevin Schaefer is a writer from Cary, North Carolina with SMA Type II. He studied English at NC State University with concentrations in film studies and creative writing, and since graduating he’s been focused on freelance journalism as well as writing comic book scripts. When he’s not writing or consuming excessive amounts of comic books and movies, he enjoys spending time with family and friends and considers himself blessed that they put up with his ramblings. He is the youngest of three and lives with his parents and dog Pandora. The dog gets the most attention.
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