By TERESA HAMMOND
In observation of the 65th Annual Oakdale Rodeo, elementary schools throughout Oakdale Joint Unified School District were busy with Western Heritage Day activities last week.
Students of Lindsey Moore’s Special Education Class at Sierra View Elementary School, however, were treated to an extra special experience as the teacher and her aides hosted a Mini Rodeo for the class of 12.
“Both my sister and I were really big into the rodeo scene,” Moore said. “I started with the Pee Wee stuff. It’s super fun to bring that to my kids.”
The Special Ed teacher created a complete Mini Rodeo setting for her students including Dummy Roping, Boot Race and Goat Un-decorating. As an extra bonus, each student was given a rope, stick horse and blue ribbon for completing the events.
Moore has been a Special Ed teacher with OJUSD for eight years total. Her first two years were spent at Cloverland and the last six have been at Sierra View.
“Honestly being able to see joy in their faces,” she noted as the most rewarding part of the day’s events. “I get very attached to my kids because I have them for four years. They were so happy and to have the parents come and be able to take pictures of them. It just brought so much joy.”
The educator shared that her students vary by ability and need. Hosting the event placed many of the students in a new and unfamiliar setting. While she and her team did not know what the event would bring in the way of challenges, they were committed to including the students in the spirit of rodeo.
“With some of my kids you don’t see a lot of emotion,” she said. “It was awesome to see a genuine smile, a genuine laugh because they were excited. We don’t get that all the time.”
Moore added that the group had prepared throughout the week for the mini rodeo by reading books and performing varying classroom assignments to expose them to what rodeo is.
“My teaching style for my kids is I set the bar really, really high,” the teacher said. “They’re proud of themselves. They can still work hard. They can still achieve things.
“My job is amazing, I get to work with the best kids every day.”