Everyone is Encouraged to Get Involved at WHS


Picture taken by Illiana Valdez-Ortega

Mrs. Housse on the left and Mrs. Kamminga on the right

Well everyone, school is back in session, and that means sports and other activities are also back in session! And because sports and other extracurricular activities are now starting back up, everyone is getting more involved in these activities. But there are some students who may not feel as though they are as involved or encouraged as others are. So, I interviewed Mrs. Kamminga and Mrs. Housse, teachers here at Wyoming High School, to get their thoughts and opinions on special ED students being more involved in extracurricular activities.

A little introduction about Mrs. Kamminga, she grew up around teachers as it was a part of her family. When she was in eighth grade, that’s when she began teaching special education. I asked her how it feels being a teacher and teaching special education to which she replied with “It’s been a great choice, I love it. It’s my home. I’ve been in this building since 1987, that’s thirty-three years and I love it and I love my kids.”

Mrs. Kamminga and Mrs. Housse believe it is important to encourage special ED students to be more involved in extracurricular activities. “Oh absolutely!” Mrs. Kamminga said. “Because that’s where the team building, the socialization that they don’t get because they are in classes with me all day and each other. So, yeah I encourage them if they have an interest at all to do that and be a part of that team and learn team-building. In the real world, they’re gonna have to go out and work with general ED people and general ED people will have to work with them and if you communicate and tell somebody ‘Hey, I have a disability.’ most people will work with you. That’s why extracurricular activities are very important.”

Mrs. Kamminga believes more involvement with student organizations could help some students overcome some fears such as shyness or trying to “fit in”. “It’s very scary [for some of my students],” she said. “Transportation is an issue. They don’t have a way to get home because a lot of things are after school and it is scary to leave the safety of my room. So yeah, shyness, not knowing what to expect, knowing that they’re not going to be the best kid on the team or in the art class or whatever it is,”

Mrs. Kamminga does think some of her students would enjoy trying a club, but they may need some extra help and encouragement. “If they had someone to mentor them and be a buddy with them, yeah,” she said. “Transportation is huge, they don’t have transportation home, moms and dads work, moms and dads don’t have cars so transportation is huge and having somebody say ‘Hey, c’mon I’ll take you to this club!’ They need a buddy, a partner or a mentor.”
Mrs. Housse also mentioned some students who are a part of after school activities as well. “Jay did art club, a couple of students work with football and soccer. So yes, we do encourage that.” Before we ended the interview, I asked if they had anything else to add to end it off. “It’s a great job, going into education and coming back to your school and work at your school.”