For Mr. Warren Bisel, being a special education teacher is challenging but also extremely rewarding. He has the opportunity to impact the lives of his students and their families, and he states that, “special education is a perfect chance to change the world one future at a time.”
Bisel is a Fresno State alumnus, graduating with his MS in Special Education and Education Specialist Teaching Credential in 2012. He didn’t always know that his future would be in special education. When Bisel started his undergraduate degree at Fresno State, he substituted as a paraeducator in a special education classroom. It was there that he discovered the uniqueness of special education instruction and how every experience with a child is different.
“Special education students need a teacher who can create natural opportunities for meaningful learning exchanges; too often our special needs students’ walk through the door labeled with ‘can nots’. Yet, from the first day of school, I look for opportunities to develop independence in academics and functional skills. I feel that we should always discover our students’ strengths and build a framework for success across subjects.”
– Warren Bisel, Special Education Teacher
Bisel has been working for the Fresno County Superintendent of Schools (FCSS) since 2005. He started as a paraeducator, was promoted to moderate/severe special day class teacher and is now the instructor for FCSS’ CIRCLE autism program.
He believes that all students deserve excellent teachers and he must rise to the occasion to not only be an educator, but a mentor in the lives of his students.
“The daily impact I have on my students is only exceeded by the celebration of small victories,” stated Bisel. One of his victories was being able to get a student to try a new food. This student would only choose between three food items. Bisel stayed consistent and was able to slowly allow the student to smell a new food item and touch the new food on his lips. With determination, the student ate the new food (grilled cheese) and now chooses between four food items. It’s small victories like this which make a difference for students’ parents and for Bisel.
Dedication to his job and his students has made an impact on his coworkers at FCSS. They have nominated him for the Carolyn Dobbs Special Education Teacher of the Year Award.
“Mr. Bisel taught and mentored students with the most intensive learning, physical, and health needs. Together with para-educators and licensed vocational nurses, Mr. Bisel created a classroom environment that ensured students with mobility and health needs could adequately access their classroom. He created daily lesson plans that focused not only on personal care but necessary academic and life skills individualized for each student. Most importantly, Mr. Bisel developed positive relationships with parents and exhibited professional behavior in the most stressful situations.”
– Romy Chachere, FCSS Coordinator
On the night of Thursday, April 4, 2019, at the Carolyn Dobbs Awards Reception, Bisel was awarded with the Carolyn Dobbs Special Education Teacher of the Year Award. This award recognizes the importance of the work of special education professionals in the Central Valley.