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I have had over twenty years experience teaching children preschool through third grade. I have a Masters in Early Childhood Education-Special Education and an 04 teaching certificate. I also have an undergraduate degree in psychology and have had many years experience as a nurse on children and adult inpatient units.
With special education, I have taken an active role in her Individualized Education Plan. I am an advocate for Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder. I have spent much time researching this syndrome as a graduate student. I have given power point presentations to adults/parents. Most of my education and community projects in graduate school were devoted to this syndrome. I have had much experience working with children needing interventions -reading, math, science and over all appropriate social skills in class as a teacher and with parents as coaches for their children. I believe that consistency in approaches should occur at school and in the home for the overall development of the child.
Since I am very near retirement age, I would prefer to do 1:1 tutoring /coaching with students and their caretakers. I believe that the significant adult in the home environment affects a child appropriate development. As partners, the child's approaches and individualized strategies are addressed. Giving the family the tools for helping the child is very important in consistency and success in the school and home environment.
I was fortunate enough to have an exceptional anatomy teacher in nursing school. I really learned the anatomy of the body. We had to take oral and written tests and had to discuss case presentations about patients exhibiting certain symptoms. As a special education teacher I studied the brain and had to know how certain organs are related to disabilities.
As a special education educator, I have helped students with reading difficulties through specialized programs and innovated practices such as having children act out the story to gain comprehension in order to "hold" pictures the words in their mind -the words of the story. I have used visuals with printed words. I have also used the Haggerty reading skills program in first grade. As a special education teacher I have access to resources aimed at certain learning delays. Since my daughter has special needs we were told she might not read, by working with her at home and school, she is now reading and I have made modifications and adaptations consistent with her abilities. We have done picture writing and taping. I am very patient and use a reward system for immediate gratification for attempts and achieving goals.
I love science because in preschool we engage in hands on cause and effect type of experiences. I role model the scientific method for the children using the correct vocabulary. As we explore science, I encourage children to stretch their own thinking and come up with extended activities related to the experience or devise their own problem. I have also given presentations to parents on including science at home-Kitchen Science". I also use experiences such as shopping, field trips, excursions with families to teach on the spot scientific activities.
Because of my nursing background and psychology background, I also am comfortable incorporating medical science into my teaching at different grade levels.
I have used many formats to introduce and help children expand their grammar skills. Grammar can be incorporated into almost any subject presented to students. Because of the use of facebook, texting, etc. some children do not have basic grammar skills. I take time to include proper grammar as this is important in future careers. Knowing grammar also reinforces reading skills that are used throughout all grade levels. When there is a breakdown in technology resources, children should be able to rely on internalized grammar skills.
I am a lover of reading. In grade school I belonged to the Great Books Club which required literature reading not included in the class curriculum. I have been a member of book clubs as an adult at our library. Through the JVS I belonged to a group called "The Play is the Thing" in which members read parts of plays out loud. I took theatre and literature courses in college. As a student in early childhood education we learned a great deal about what constitutes good children's literature. we also became comfortable with the terms associated with children's literature. I read stories daily to my class often using quality children's literature. I have also found watching public television has given me an extra resource about literature. I am a passionate reader in my free time
I have studied the importance of phonological awareness in my graduate work. I include phonological awareness strategies in my teaching strategies. I have taught remedial reading- Building Bridges -which is an intense intervention which does include phonics besides alphabet awareness and whole word approaches. I have monitored children's progress in phonological awareness which is an important component of reading. I know of many language arts resources to use in phonics and whole word approaches to reading
In nursing school our instructor always reviewed the functioning of the normal body's systems so we could learn how diseases do not act normally or try to compensate for an injured system. We had weekly seminars where we took a part a case study of a patient with a disorder. We had to explain normal physiology of the body and explain how disease interferes with normal functioning of a body system . As a special education teacher we studied brain anatomy and physiology. We also had to be aware of physiological functioning in disabilities, the body's attempt to compensate or how to use adaptations to help the student achieve success in spite of physiological dysfunction of a body system.
My major in college was general psychology. As a nurse my experience was working as a psychiatric nurse with children and adults. I did much of my own research besides studying psychiatric nursing as a student. As a special education graduate student we also studied psychology and how it part of normal and abnormal personal development. I also coauthored a section of a book on hospitalized psychiatric children and the impact of divorce on a child's mental health.
I have taught a summer reading program, Building Bridges in first grade. I have always had excellent reading skills. As a preschool/early childhood educator a great amount of my time was focused on basic reading skills. I have used many reading curriculums and attended many workshops on reading readiness and continued reading. I designed my own webpage for my preschool class that was print reading based. I also use different types of language skills to enhance reading such as choral reading, decoding, dictation, story completion reading and then acting out stories. I have had children make their own digital books and then as a class design and work as a team to write and then read their own stories. I have used word walls with young children by providing a visual and then written word. I have introduced children to different forms of reading such as fiction, nonfiction at the preschool age. I take dictation with preschool children and then show them what I have written as I read it back. I have used classroom technology with students in self paced reading programs.
I have experience in Response to Intervention Education strategies. I believe each child can learn and it is up to the tutor to find that way. I have access to resources. I have a daughter with special needs and have always been an active teacher with her. I have designed early intervention plans with family members. I have been part of Individualized Education designs. I have my Masters in Early Childhood/Special Education. As a psychiatric nurse working on an inpatient children's unit, I am comfortable with using many interventions to help a child gain success. I have always had children with special needs in my classroom. I include professionals, family and community resources in working with a special needs individual.
As a special education teacher, I have helped children struggling with speaking and language delays. I have worked with speech therapists since my own daughter had a language delay. I would have access to resources and be willing to work with a student's speech teacher. I believe each student should have a progressive educational plan in place so that subjects can be monitored. I have used modifications and adaptation strategies to work in small groups and 1:1 with speech/language delay children. Since the music section of the brain is the most resilient to injury, I have incorporated musical activities such as singing, learning rhythms, and clapping out beats to improve speech. I am also familiar with exercises which help in oral language, such as blowing on Kleenex, proper breathing exercises, etc to improve the quality of a student's speech.
I have made many presentations of my own ,spoken at conferences and easily compose and deliver interesting and enjoyable speeches to audiences of all ages. I have had public speaking education besides using strategies learned in graduate and undergraduate course work.
I start vocabulary at an early age. Research shows that the depth of a child's vocabulary can be an indication of future success in reading and other subjects. Therefore even with babies I introduce pictures and words. Even with young children, I teach the proper vocabulary for science and mathematical procedures using hands on projects to reinforce concepts and what the vocabulary means. Comprehension of different vocabulary is very important. By role modeling, using vocabulary through out the day,children hear and can use words that are different, but have similar meanings. As part of my lesson plans I always include the introduction of lexicon which is another term for vocabulary. I like to instill in children that playing with vocabulary is fun too!
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