Special Day Class Teacher
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Ms. Michelle NavalesMichelle Navales
Special Day Class teacher
(she/her/hers)

I am very excited to join the Woodside Elementary School District as the new Special Day Class teacher!  This will be my 29th year in education (22nd year teaching in Special Education). I have spent the last 11 years teaching a combo K-5th grade SDC class for San Bruno Park School District and have taught kindergarten through 8th grade SDC and RSP prior to that within the Bay Area. I have taught students with all varying abilities from students with autism to students who are non-verbal. Working with students with speech-generated devices has been a fantastic learning curve for me. Teaching students with special needs has always been my calling ever since I volunteered as a camp counselor in high school. 

I grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio and earned my Bachelor’s Degree and teaching credential from the University of Cincinnati. My first teaching position was in South Africa where I was a volunteer teacher for 1-1/2 years. In 1996, I moved to San Francisco and have been in the Bay Area ever since. I earned my Masters Degree in Education as well as my California teaching credential from San Francisco State and my administrative credential from Cal State East Bay (Hayward). 

My favorite subject to teach is hands down STEM and STEAM activities. Often, I’m online searching for monthly themed activities that I can adapt for students.  No matter what my students’ ability levels, they are always able to participate in project-based learning. I always start with my student's strengths and interests and work from there.

When I’m not teaching, I love spending time with my family, walking, observing tide pools, traveling, reading, baking and binge-watching shows on Netflix. 

I look forward to getting to know and being part of the Woodside community!