Teacher Profile: Kelly Dunn has her dream job at Eden Autism

Kelly Dunn is proud to say she has her dream job. As the Lead Teacher of Early Childhood at the Eden School, she spends her days doing what she loves — helping students learn.

“I love watching them grow,” she said. “I really enjoy how unique each student is. They’re really fun to work with.”

While working with younger students has always been her dream, she began her Eden career as the head teacher of High School 1 and 2. It was a valuable experience that helped her become a better teacher in the Early Childhood classroom. Working with the older students gave her a great understanding of what’s in store for the younger children as they grow up. 

No matter how old the students are, Kelly wants everyone to know that no one should underestimate what individuals with autism are capable of. 

“You always want to try to teach them something because there’s always an opportunity for them to learn,” she said. “You never know what the limit is, so you always try to see what works. They’re capable of doing so much.”

Teaching runs in Kelly’s family. Both of her parents are special needs teachers. “I grew up in the field,” she said. “Whenever I had a day off, I’d volunteer in my mom’s classroom. One summer she had her first class of students with autism and I fell in love with working with that population.”

In Early Childhood, Kelly and her colleagues focus on teaching learning readiness skills and communication skills, and there is no problem they can’t solve. 

“The most rewarding thing is just seeing the parents see their kids in a place where they fit in,” said Kelly. “We can help them through any problem, and when we do the parents are so grateful that someone finally has an answer for them.”

For Kelly, there’s no other place she’d rather be working than Eden Autism.

“I’m so happy to be in a position to have my dream job,” she said. “That’s all I can think about on my drive home.”