Pamela Rohdenburg is a special education teacher in Seminole County Schools, where she specializes in supporting students with autism spectrum disorders, dyslexia, and other learning disabilities. Naturally compassionate, empathetic, and a strong communicator, Ms. Rohdenburg was drawn to education as a way to help others, and had fond memories of her own experiences as a student, winning numerous awards for her academic achievements. She began her teaching career as a tutor with Sylvan Learning before exploring the possibility of working in an educational or student support role as a behavioral assistant in a Massachusetts school. Ms. Rohdenburg’s interest in the field was reinforced after she was given the opportunity to observe an older cousin, a special education teacher, in the classroom.
Ms. Rohdenburg continued her education at the University of Central Florida, working full time and caring for her young child while attending classes at night without any additional assistance. She was awarded a Master of Arts in communication disorders and special education in 2002. She considers earning her master’s degree to be one of her greatest accomplishments, emphasizing her pride in having completed it despite the many obstacles in her way, and her excitement for the chance to pursue her calling and explore an area of her field in more depth.
She accepted her current position as a special education teacher for Seminole County Schools shortly after her graduation from the University of Central Florida. Ms. Rohdenburg works with elementary-grades students to provide resource materials and small-group instruction in reading and math in addition to creating individualized education plans that ensure students’ educational needs are met throughout the district. She recalls the limited resources available for students with disabilities when she was a child and remains inspired by the opportunity to help her students obtain the tools and skills to build bright futures without being defined by their disabilities, describing her work as “maximizing each student’s potential as far as it can go.”
In the coming years, Ms. Rohdenburg hopes to have a chance to explore administrative or leadership roles within the district, particularly in curriculum development or training and mentoring other teachers. She advises others considering careers in teaching or special education that patience, perseverance, and empathy are key to succeeding in the field, adding that “a child’s behavior to push you away is really in need of a connection.” Throughout her career, Ms. Rohdenburg has been beloved by students and parents, often receiving feedback that children wish they could return to her class, and she hopes to be remembered as a professional and kind colleague with a unique perspective on the job.
Ms. Rohdenburg attributes her success to hard work, balance, and following her calling into the profession. As a part of her commitment to continued professional growth, she is active in the Seminole County Teachers Education Association, the American Federation of Teachers and the National Education Association. When not working, she is passionate about supporting her community through volunteerism, tutoring others through church and community organizations, and is a prominent fixture in her school Parent-Teacher Association.