My name is Susan Waldrop and I've been the Project Help director for over two years. I was born and grew-up in Nashville. I've worked with children and families for almost 40 years. I turned 60 in February; being 60 is not as much fun as you might think.
I recieved my undergraduate degree from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. My very first real job was in Hohenwald, TN where I learned to garden and began teaching Title I remedial reading. I decided to learn as much as I could about both gardening and teaching reading; that's pretty much still the plan.
Then for 16 years I lived in Arkansas. I taught in public schools systems in both general elementary and special education settings. I got my master's degree in special education (emphasis on learning disabilities and behavioral disorders) from Arkansas State University in Jonesboro. During the period I was adopted by several pets, married the fabulous Phillip and became a mom. I was no longer an expert on children.
While was in Jonesboro, I was fortunate to work on several federal projects providing specific special education training to general education teachers and support to families who had children receiving special education services. I was also a member of a pediatric clinic's interdisciplinary team assisting children and their families through diagnostics and treatment.
in 1989, our family moved to Murfreesboro. For six years, I coordinated a respite program at Rutherford County's Guidance Center for families who had children with severe emotional and behavioral problems. Our family adopted new pets as the others went on their way into eternity. In 1997 I began providing, through the local TEIS (Tennessee Early Intervention System), direct in-home services to families with babies and toddlers who had developmental delays. For eight years, I also worked as a full-time temporary employee in the Elementary and Special Education Department teaching special education classes and supervising field placement students.
Our kids grew up: Courtney and Jonathan both graduated from MTSU. in 2003, Courtney married Nick Mobley, and three years ago Samuel James joined the family. I really enjoyed being around those people.
To those with whom I have and will connect: Please be patient with me, there's and awful lot to learn. Babies are wonderful teachers, staff members offer valuable expertise, and community friends provide support as well as goal development ideas. It gets better all the time being at Project Help. I'm grateful for the opportunity.