Eric Grimmett - Texas Tech University
Hello! My name is Eric Grimmett. I am truly thrilled and honored to be chosen for this incredible opportunity, and I am very excited to begin my studies at Texas Tech University. I am currently a teacher for the visually impaired at the Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired where I teach a life skills class for transition age young adults. In the last year I have participated in assessment development for this specialized population in the areas of language arts, math concepts, and science.
The doctoral program in visual impairment at Texas Tech will provide an incredible opportunity for my personal enrichment in the field, both in professional development and in the immeasurable experience that comes from working with so many other talented professionals towards common goals. My ultimate goal at this point of my professional career is to teach at the university level. I feel that the most critical issue facing the field of visual impairment today is the chronic shortage of qualified educators available to meet the national need. I am totally dedicated to achieving my highest potential in the field, primarily by training the next generation of teachers of the visually impaired.
The need for teachers of the visually impaired is very real and undeniable; however, I have a much simpler, more personal reason for making personnel preparation my focus for study. I love to teach. I have always felt the pull of the profession since childhood, but I was not able to truly enter the field until my early thirties. When I returned to college in my late twenties, it was to work towards becoming a professor in film theory and history. While I was striving towards this goal, I started working at the Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired, first as a residential instructor, then as a teaching assistant. I was fortunate enough to be assigned to a wonderful teacher of over thirty years experience in the field, and through her I very quickly fell in love with the field. All of the pieces suddenly fell into place, and I knew teaching in the field of visual impairment was what I was born to do. Words can't express my gratitude for all the guidance and support that everyone at TSBVI has given me over the years. It was the tutelage of all the talented folks here that has served as inspiration to light my way. I am now in the middle of my fifth year teaching, and my ninth year at TSBVI, and I have loved every moment of it. I have had the pleasure of working with many different types of special populations at TSBVI, from academic elementary kids to students in their early twenties preparing to transition to adult life.
I am totally committed to the betterment of both myself and my chosen field, and I have dedicated myself to doing the most I can to advance the field of visual impairment and special education. I am eager to begin doing my part for this profession that I have come to love so dearly. Whatever the future holds, I will always keep the needs of students with visual impairments as the central prerogative of my life’s work.