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Classroom experience helps special education major discover her passion

| Emily Kaltenberg

Senior Brittany Franz came into UW-Eau Claire never expecting to end up where she is today. Franz, starting her college career off in early childhood education, quickly discovered that young children was not the only group of students she was eager to service. Granz found her home by majoring in special education with an emphasis in cognitive disabilities and learning disabilities. 

The self-discoveries did not stop there. The special education program at UW-Eau Claire has many opportunities for school-based practicum experience. It was during her placements within middle and high schools that Franz discovered a deeper passion for special education, and added a certificate in emotional and behavioral disorders to her program plan. 

Learning as a journey is one of the beliefs of the UW-Eau Claire Education Program, and Franz is a great example of this. Through her journey, Franz has discovered her own potential. She never considered herself the perfect student, although she tried her hardest and usually exhausted every effort to get good grades. Being a part of the special education program has allowed her to excel as a student, even earning a spot on the Dean’s List—something she never imagined was within her reach. 

In all of her practicum experiences, volunteer tutoring, and being a reading partner have ignited her love for learning. She feels the experiences and education provided to her through the program have pushed her limits and given her the tools she needs to be successful. 

Franz is eager to begin her career in special education, taking what she has learned about herself as a student and educator and making a difference in the lives of the students she works with. She looks forward to passing on her passion while teaching them learning isn’t always about getting an “A”. Franz believes in instilling in her students that learning with a disability only makes them a stronger individual and student. Her philosophy going forward as an educator, Franz said, is “to teach them to believe that they are important, capable and amazing just the way they are.”