Robin Samuels2013 Rising Alumni

Robin Samuels photo

A former Gophers football and basketball cheerleader, Robin Samuels has developed a new model of assessing ECSE for students in Part B service that is being used by intervention teams in Minneapolis Public Schools. She also implemented playgroups for special needs populations, such as medically fragile and preemie students.


Early Childhood Special Education Teacher
Elizabeth Hall International School,
Minneapolis Public Schools

What skills are important to succeed as a young professional today?

It is very important to be flexible as a teacher. While it helps to plan ahead and be prepared, it's crucial to be able to think on your feet and be ready to adapt to whatever changes occur during the day. Also, the ability to work in a team is a vital skill. If you are able to hear other's ideas and input, as well as contribute your own, you will grow as a professional. That support you will receive from your team members is so important, especially during the early years.

What professor was most influential during your time in CEHD?

The advisor for my ECSE student teaching, Rosemary Graham, was very supportive, kind, and knowledgeable. She definitely made the experience easier and made sure we were getting everything we could out of our student teaching experiences.

When you have free time, what do you do?

I'm a pretty active person. I've completed a handful of sprint triathlons and usually do a few 5Ks each year. I started mountain biking and snowboarding last year. I do not suggest trying to learn snowboarding after the age of 30… hurts!

What was the impact and benefit of your experience in CEHD?

While the program feels very long, I'm very grateful for how it was set up. I went in to teaching with a greater base of knowledge because I had already completed my graduate courses.

What gets you excited about work?

I love that my job is never boring. I also love seeing the progress in my students. Since I work with students that are so young, I see a lot of changes in them throughout the school year.