Special Education Teacher Makes Education Special For Everyone

Brian "Mick" Mosher, the Ida S. Baker Award winner from Walker Middle School, has a contagious positive attitude.

When Mick Mosher was a junior at the State University of Buffalo, he attended a Special Olympics event that changed his life. 

"I fell in love with the kids with Down's Syndrome and realized that this was what I wanted to do with my life," said Mosher, a special education teacher at Walker Middle.

That decision didn't just change his life, but it greatly impacted students that he has  spent the last 27 years educating in his special education classroom.

"You can't go anywhere without one of his former students coming over to him and giving him a hug and a thank you," said Amber Toskas, one of two paraprofessionals who works closely with Mosher.

He was recently selected by his peers at Walker Middle school as the Ida S. Baker Teacher of the Year.

Mosher teaches ten students who have a vareity of special needs and cognitive disabilities. In addition to teaching students basic academics Mosher also focuses on teaching students independent life skills.

"I teach them daily living skills that could include things like doing laundry or learning how to make their lunch," he said.  "It's my job to help students be the best that they can be and make the world a better place."

Every student in his class is greeted with a warm smile and the knowledge that the atmosphere in the classroom will be fun and entertaining.

"He never ends his desire for improvement and believes in helping kids learn to be independent so they can function in the real world," said Patti Wiltshire who is Walker's ESE specialist.

In addition to assisting students to improve their lives, Mosher is currently in the process of  completing a master's degree program in special education. 

This is the third time that Mosher has been selected Teacher of the Year at a school. In 1989 he was given the honor at Caminiti Exceptional Center.  He was also recognized by the Hillsborough County Council for Exceptional Children as their Teacher of the Year in 2010.

"He cares about these kids," said paraprofessional, Leigh Miser. "They know it and so do their parents."


Vanessa Smith June 01, 2011 at 06:23 PM
I teach with Mick. I knew he was phenomenal when I first met him at Claywell Elementary and he was dancing with the students in his room to get them to move their muscles. He has a special connection with children and it is amazing to see!
Pam Cabral June 01, 2011 at 08:01 PM
I also teach with Mick. I knew of Mick when my now 23 and 22 year old sons attended Claywell. As the AVID Coordinator/Elective Teacher at Walker we've recently been reading and writing about individuals who have "Heeded the Call," what a truly wonderful real-world example of this Mick is. You're inspiring to everyone Mick!
Michael A. Matteo June 01, 2011 at 10:05 PM
Thanks so much for your comments. I think now, more than ever, it is vital to tell positive education stories and let the general public know that wonderful and caring teachers are out there daily creating awesome environments for students. It was my utmost pleasure to meet Mick, as well as all these great teachers and recognize their achievements.
Robin Collins June 02, 2011 at 01:21 AM
Mick is my cousin and I am sooo proud of him! Really enjoyed reading of his accomplishments! I have worked for people who are disabled for over 25 years now and I always enjoy hearing about someone like Mick who has dedicated himself to making a difference in a disabled person's life!


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