Mimosa Park paraeducator loves working with children
As the teacher goes over a math lesson with a class at Mimosa Park Elementary School, Betty Langley sits alongside a student on the floor and helps her.
As a paraeducator, Langley’s job is to assist the teacher, and it’s a position dear to her.
“I love my job,” said the Luling resident. “That’s why I’ve been here 40 years.”
Langley’s longtime service with the St. Charles Parish School System was recently recognized among 61 system employees recognized for 20 years service; 20 for 25 years, and then eight for 30 years.
Then there’s Langley, who was solely recognized for 40 years with the school system. Most of this time has been spent at Mimosa Park Elementary, which is a special place for her.
“Usually when they get to 30 years they’re ready to retire,” said Mimosa Principal Michelle deBruler of most teachers. “But not Betty, who considers us part of her family. She’s like the Energizer bunny.”
Langley is also the kind of teacher who gets on the floor with her students in activities, as well as has a contagious sense of humor that keeps everyone laughing, including the kids.
What drives Langley is love.
“Betty has a deep desire to see every child succeed,” DeBruler said. “She truly cares about the children and looks forward to spending her days with them.”
While Langley works where she is needed at the school, she is a paraeducator in special education there. She is inspired by aiding these children .
“With some of these children, it takes a while to catch on and when they finally catch on I just feel exhilarated because I was instrumental in them catching on.”
She recounted one child’s struggles with word recognition and reading, which is so important, Langley said. When the child caught on, she said it felt like “Alright. I why I’m here.”
There are essentials to helping them, which is being able to control their behavior so they can learn, she said. There are challenges, but Langley remains dedicated to teaching these children and considers every child special.
“My accomplishment is when a child leaves the classroom I’m assisting him or her in being better behaved, with knowledge and just making a happier child, which is rewarding,” she said.
There have been many good people worked with over the years, which Langley said are certainly at Mimosa Park.
“I have worked with phenomenal, dedicated teachers and paraeducators,” she said. “I’m with a group of people who honestly care about teaching and the children. It’s just wonderful working in that atmosphere.”
Langley is so appreciative of this opportunity that she’s in disbelief it’s already 40 years she’s done this.
Her start in the school system came as a CODIFIL (Council for the Development of French in Louisiana) teacher at Mimosa Park. The program was aimed at teaching Louisiana students how to speak Parisian French, which was aimed at preserving Cajun French. Langley’s job was to help translate the differences in words between the two. When the grant ran out, however, the program ended and she went to Lakewood Elementary School in what was then called the “Severe and Profound” class for severely impaired and disabled children.
This is where Langley became dedicated to working with these children.
“It’s not a job when you love what you do,” she said. “It’s an opportunity.”
From Lakewood Elementary, Langley went to the former A.A. Songy Kindergarten Center that was in Luling and then back to Mimosa Park Elementary.
Over these years, she observed special education expand to offer many opportunities.
“We try to take care of all of them,” she said of the students. “Everything is available to us and we implement it.”
As deBruler affirmed, Langley just isn’t someone who just shows up for the job.
“I just love what I do,” Langley said. “I come to work in the morning and I’m a happy, happy person to be doing what I’m doing and helping children in the process.”