I graduated from Lake Forest College with a BA in Art History. I then attended art school in San Francisco for a semester. I then went on to publish two YA novels wit Prentice Hall, Avon and Harper Collins. I also took a handful of education courses at Cal State LA.
I have been teaching for nearly twenty years. I started out as a teacher's aid for Disabled Students Service and Programs at Pasadena City College. There I ran Speech Path labs (in some cases as many as twenty-five participants in the classroom) that focused on current events, pragmatics, vocabulary, and culinary mathematics.
Later I worked one-to-one with an autistic adult who was also DDL. in this case I designed exercises that would improve his concentration, cognition, sequencing with emphasis on cause and effect. I, also, tried to hone his fine motor skills as well. Sadly, this individual died of a seizure last month. I was his teacher twice a week for fifteen years.
My approach to teaching one-to-one is first seeing what the needs of the client are. Then I customize the lesson with attainable goals in mind. I do this in small but measurable steps so that I can report back to the parents what progress has or has not been made. More often than not, it is up to student to perform. However if there is a concrete bond formed between student and teacher in which the student is motivated to excel because of verbal reinforcements than the student may succeed.
Presently I am the art teacher for the City of Pasadena's Adaptive Recreation Department. There I have participants who range from hearing impaired, aphasia, autism, DDL and dyslexia. Every year we not only have an art show (at the Pasadena Armory) but we publish a full color booklet printed on a high quality paper. Previously, we have done booklets that were poems and pictures, but now we are able to do narratives such as Pinocchio, Helen Keller's story and this year we are doing Seabiscuit. This one in particular is germane to our class because the horse and the rider both overcame disabilities to win the Santa Anita Handicap after three tries!
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