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My background is in elementary education; however, I taught for two years in high school English classes in a small, rural community. I have a BA in elementary education with endorsements in language arts, reading, science, and middle school. I love the English language and all of its many interesting twists! My high school students thanked me for helping to prepare them for college entrance exams and for guiding them toward their prospective careers.
My most memorable tutoring position was with a first grader who was struggling with learning to read. I noticed that she was holding the book next to her face! After performing some of my own diagnostics and informing her parents, they took her to an eye doctor and discovered her vision was very limited! Her parents have thanked me repeatedly for discovering her basic problem and then catching her up over the summer.
The favorite type of lesson for this particular girl was a kinesthetic lesson. She liked to be moving! So I put letters on the Twister game mat and asked her to put a right foot on the letter representing the sound I would say. This also reinforced right and left! Another game was called Pick it Up. This involved me calling out a letter or word and her finding it and picking it up off the floor. While I enjoy creating new ways to teach reading and other subjects, I also feel it is important to do some things in repeated fashion. I observed the reading recovery program that many schools offer as part of my reading endorsement requirements and really enjoyed how the children responded to these types of lessons!
As a substitute teacher, I work in many different classrooms. I have had multiple experiences working with children with autism, Asperger's, and ADHD/ADD. There was a student with Asperger's in my seventh grade reading class. She was a joy to work with! I also have some classes toward a special education endorsement. Last spring I did a long-term substitute job in upper elementary special education and enjoyed the position very much!
On a personal note, I have five children, a son-in-law, a soon to be daughter-in-law, and one grandchild. My youngest child is in going into high school this fall and the others are all grown and on their own. I was a stay-at-home mom until my fourth child went to school, then I went to work as a nurse's aid at a nursing home. I enjoyed working with the elderly, but longed to be a teacher, so I went back to school and got my degree. My favorite past time is sewing, but I also like to hike in the woods, garden, and bake. I am a calm, quiet, and patient person, but I am also firm. It has been said that I have a good rapport with parents as well as their students. I enjoy working together as a team with parents and students.
I always look forward to meeting new people!
Rewards and consequences; consistant communication between staff and parents/guardians; these are the main things that work for students with ADD/ADHD. One of my sons was given diagnosed with ADD because he needed constant reminders to stay focused and on task. He could play with the same toy for hours and hours, but when it came to doing school work, he couldn't sit and concentrate. He needed a booth to avoid distractions in the room so he could give his full attention to his studies. Friends of ours have a son with ADHD who needed one-on-one attention in order to complete his school work. Both of these boys made it through high school and are happy people in their adulthood. They made it through with the help of rewards and consequences and consistent communication between teachers and parents!
I have also worked as a substitute in many special education classrooms with many people with ADD/ADHD and have found them to be extremely creative. A student in my composition class was an excellent writer! I always had hopes that he would pursue a career in writing! His ADHD was severe; he was impulsive, but he could also be sweet and conniving. It was hard to know what kind of day it was going to be. Most days all I could do with this individual was encourage him to write it down and get his feelings down on paper. It seemed to help. Finding avenues for this type of person to spend their excess energy is a challenge that is well worth the effort! Always try new things!
As a junior high reading teacher in 2007-2009, I had a girl with Aspergers in my class. She is a very sweet person, but could be kind of hard for other students to deal with as is typical with Aspergers syndrome. She had trouble fitting in socially and often picked fights with other students so I worked to make sure she was busy using her skills in other ways in the classroom. She would be given choices such as the task of cataloging the books in the classroom or since she was quite intelligent, she could easily skim a book and write a quick review for me. She was a joy to have in the classroom! She sometimes shut down, but when I gave her something important to do, she was once again on task. I realize that different people have varying degrees of Aspergers and are going to act differently to different people. It is important to be flexible when necessary and to be strict when necessary also.
In the same school as a substitute teacher, I worked with two young men with autism. These boys were unable to speak but a few words and we made sure they responded to everyone who greeted them everyday as part of their social curriculum. They worked with the computers (which they enjoyed very much) and also with manipulatives, word cards, and various other tools to expose them to using language and math in their everyday lives. Most days they contributed to the school by carrying mail between the high school and elementary. Part of the day consisted of communication and training for the parents on what they could do at home to further their development and progress made at school. It was nice to have a chance to get to know them!
I obtained my certification to teach elementary in 2005 at Upper Iowa University.
I have helped many people with diverse backgrounds learn English. As a high school student I took German and there I received my French sister. She stayed with us and I helped her learn English. All of her children have also visited to learn better English. Originally from Postville, a small town with the most diversity per capita in the U.S.A., I have helped community people and school children learn to speak better English.
As a school teacher, I have taught phonics in various ways. The method I learned during student teaching is valuable, but the way I think is the best is the way my daughter learned. The Jolly Phonics program really helps ESL speakers catch on to reading the English language the fastest. It involves learning the sounds that each letter makes along with the rules of phonics. Music is incorporated with each letter that is learned. This gets the children involved with learning to read by auditory as well as kinesthetic methods. Kids really enjoy the program and it teaches them to read and comprehend much earlier than other methods. My daughter reads at a tenth grade level as a sixth grader. She enjoys reading where other students at a similar level of intelligence might find it a chore. I attribute that to Jolly Phonics!
As a wife and mother of five children, I went back to school full-time to get a degree in education. You can imagine that I had to arrange my schedule and hone my study skills to get the 4.0 that I had most of my college career. I would go to bed at the same time as my children and get up at three A.M. to study. It was a priority for me to get good grades so I could get scholarships to ease the financial burden of school. To study for tests I would absorb the material with as many of my five senses as I could. I would hear it, write it, speak it, and digest it thoroughly. I wrote words and stuck them all over the house, I used words or phrases to help me remember certain things that went together. I found people to study with and invited them over for a study session/kids' play date. Studying became a part of my daily routine.
UIU (Elementary Education)
Wonderful tutor!! — Susan T. was a wonderful tutor for my daughter. Susan incorporated verbal and visual techniques that worked well for my daughter. I would highly recommend Susan to anyone needing a tutor!! ...
Standard Hourly Fee: $40.00
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Susan will travel within 20 miles of Epworth, IA 52045.
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