My name is Jennifer Sims and I am the owner of Bee N Bonnet, LLC. I received a BA from the University of Texas at Tyler with a major in Interdisciplinary Studies and minors in Special Education and History.
My desire to become a Special Education teacher came about as a result of a presentation in one of my education classes by Wayne Boshears, who was the principal of St. Louis School, a school for children with severe and profound disabilities in Tyler ISD. His passion for students with special needs became my passion and I was fortunate enough to begin my career at St. Louis School.
My 19 years teaching experience was in self-contained classrooms, resource rooms, functional academic settings, and inclusion in general education classrooms. The ability and independence levels of my students varied greatly, but early on, I knew my primary purpose was to advocate for my students every moment of the day. As a result, I quickly learned to enlist the help of parents as their voice was influential and powerful. With parental advocacy came necessary changes in the classroom. Unfortunately, some parents did not know how to advocate for their child and true changes did not always occur and IEP meetings became cursory and without true parent understanding and input.
It was not until I met a non-attorney special education advocate that I realized there were specially trained people to advocate for parents of special needs children. A spark was ignited and I began to research COPAA. Again, I found my calling.
My primary goals are to be alongside parents as they learn how to navigate the intricacies of special education, to provide tools for them to gain confidence and knowledge in the IEP process, and to fully prepare them to make the best decisions for their child. Ultimately, the goal is to provide children with meaningful educational opportunities.