November 16, 2022 -- “I am not the teacher, but I am here to help them with class management and to hold their hand and support them.”
Wilbert Norman has worked at Columbus Scioto 6-12 as an Intervention Specialist for 15 years. When asked why he walks through the school doors everyday, “because I see change,” is his response.
Norman is reflecting on his time as an Intervention Specialist on National Education Support Professionals Day. To him, the day allows space for those in the position to reflect on how they do their work.
“We do everything,” Norman said. “We had one student who walked in and brought all his laundry, and he looked at me with really big eyes and said, ‘Can you wash these for me?’ And there were other supportive staff members who started to fold the laundry and showed him how to fold his laundry. He had the biggest smile, we’re here to meet those needs.”
Norman came into the position a different way than many of his peers. As an entrepreneur and pastor in his early adult years, he felt a calling to help teens who needed more guidance than others. It was a friend who suggested he look into a career helping students at Columbus City Schools.
“I understand purpose and when you understand purpose you move forward. I think everyone has to find their niche, and there’s something in life that makes you say ‘this works,’” he said.
From welcoming students in the morning to attending classified staff training events, his constant smile makes it easy to see he understands the impact of his work. He’s hoping other Intervention Specialists take the time to recognize their work is crucial to the success of teachers and students in the classroom.
“Some of our support staff members think that they might not be important but they’re so important. Think about a pinky. You don’t think that pinky is important until you lose it and then you realize how important it is.”
Intervention Specialists and other support staff members continue to serve as the right hand to educators and others at Columbus City Schools. We want to thank them for their daily efforts to help students and others succeed.