The majority of my teaching career has been spent on teaching the sciences. This includes: biology, chemistry, physics, environmental education, Earth science, and the many specific disciplines that
Every five years teachers need to take 125 hours of classes, CEU's, seminars, etc., to keep their teaching licenses up to date. I love working with students with a variety of abilities, and I almost always get my hours logged in under learning disabilities, student mental health issues and teaching methods in mixed ability classrooms.
I work well with challenged students and all my teaching career, my principals have mainstreamed Special Education students and LD students into my classes and I have had great success with them.
I am very comfortable working with students with disabilities. I often get requests from Special Ed teachers to sub for them because they are impressed with my patience and knowledge of their students.
These are science classes I have taken: Ecology, Minnesota Plants, Principles of Biology, Animal Physiology, Developmental Biology, Plant Biology, Biochemistry, Teaching Science, and Global Environmental Education. I graduated with honors from college. In addition, I have attended many workshops and seminars throughout my teaching career that focused on different aspects and topics in science.
In addition to six college classes in Biology, I have also taken Ecology classes, Minnesota Plant classes and a Plant Biology/Botony class. I have also attended many workshops and seminars on how to teach plants in the classroom, even on that focused on Art and Plants in the classroom! I am also a certified Learning Tree Educator in Grades K-12. I had taught Biology, Environmental Education and Ecology for many years. All of which incorporate the life cycle of plants.
Cooking has been a passion of mine since I was a child. My father was a cook and I loved working with him in the kitchen. It was fun and rewarding even as a child. I put myself through college by working in a small catering company where I spent as much time in the kitchen as chef, as I did in a tuxedo serving the food. I also worked in Indian, Mexican, and French restaurants for years. I enjoy reading cookbooks, not just the recipes, but what each author writes about food and its preparation. I have also used food in my science classes to demonstrate yeast and carbon dioxide with making bread, how "good" bacteria is involved in fermentation and making cheese, and what happens chemically when using salt in cooking and brining, just to name a few fun labs we have had. Just last year, my science classes made salsa, guacamole, and lemonade to demonstrate the differences between solutions and mixtures.
I am in the perfect position of tutoring dyslexics because I have been diagnosed as one myself. I was tested my sophomore year in college and after learning of my unique learning needs and abilities, my grades and self esteem soared. I was also hired to be a tutor at the Learning Disability Center for the rest of my college years at Augsburg College in Minneapolis. I have studied dyslexia, and have learned how to identify characteristics, and to understand the profound emotional effect it has on people. I have also learned to employ the best teaching methods to work with individuals either one-on-one or in a classroom. My goal is not only to help my clients with important academics they are involved in at the present, but also to help them with skills and strategies that will assist them their whole lives in becoming the person the want to be and certainly can be.
My experience with elementary school has been teaching 3rd and 4th grade math and science for two years and subbing in elementary schools for three years. The classroom teacher expects a sub to take control of the classroom and teach all the subjects s/he would have taught that day. I have had many teachers request that I sub in their rooms because I meet all their expectations and the students have fun while learning. I have also tutored elementary aged children off and on for thirty years.
I graduated cum laud from my undergraduate work in biology, chemistry and education. Many math courses were required for these majors. While attaining my Masters in Curriculum and Instruction, I took a class in the many kinds of learning styles children have as individuals. This is when I began learning more about brain development and meeting a student where they are at in the learning process, and then moving up from that point-their point-not from where they traditionally need to be at in their academic career.
My opportunity to work in a small private school teaching 3rd and 4th grade reading, science and math, was great experience for continuing my work with this age level. I now tutor math from pre-K up to Algebra 1 in addition to K-12 reading and ACT prep.
I would also like to reiterate my work with reading and writing as a balanced approach to teaching literacy. In addition, I like to make learning fun. My sessions with students are productive and enjoyable.
Teaching Handwriting takes patience and this is one of my tutoring characteristics. We first work with the physical mechanics of holding a writing utensil. Then we draw shapes such as circles and ovals; we draw straight lines horizontally, vertically, at angles and in curves. We put letters together, then the letters into words, words into sentences and so forth. I encourage 20-30 minutes practice everyday, with a break once a week. Then we work on uniformity and space allotment. I also use this approach if students are required to write in cursive.
I have a Reading Specialist license and took a classes on emergent, beginning and challenged students focused on phonics. I have taught students of all ages and reading levels using phonics and phonemic awareness. In addition, I worked at four different schools, teaching teachers how to teach phonics to each level of their students.
I have been sewing since I was about 8 years old. My grandmother was a seamstress and I lived next door to her. Many hours were spent with her in her shop watching, learning and helping her. Home Economics class was offered in my junior and senior high schools. I loved the classes and took all I could. We mostly cooked and sewed. I learned how to make patterns and sew difficult items. I was a junior leader in 4H and make a suit as my final project.I sewed my sons clothes for many years. I started a 4H club in Wisconsin about 10 years ago and we were very active with sewing activities. I still make my own drapes and I even have a tech degree in Upholstery!
I have taught for many years and have always been happy to work with special needs students. Over the years, I have taken workshops, seminars, and in-service training that focused on children with challenges and how to work with their abilities. Special needs students are often put in my classes because I work so well with them and their specialists. For example, I team-taught biology with a special education teacher. About one third of the class had preferred ways in which they could learn and successful ways they could present their knowledge other than the traditional testing methods. We spent many prep hours working on how we could help every student in the class succeed. Working as a team, we used assessments to determine the best teaching and learning and testing approach for each student.
In preparation for teaching this class, I took a 30-hour workshop on how to teach students with IEP’s, 504’s or any other students who needed accommodations for medical reasons. We covered the many different ways students enjoy learning, helping them focus for longer periods of time, and keeping them motivated. A very satisfying part of this workshop was focused on teaching students life long learning skills so they can be ready for other academic challenges. These were easily incorporated within the daily lessons, such as; organizational skills, reading graphs and tables, making lists of priorities and reading for meaning.
I have had the opportunity to work with students who were diagnosed with: dyslexia, autism, Down’s syndrome, emotionally disturbed, reading and language disabled, dyscalculia (disability with numbers,) and deafness/hearing loss, among others. I have a tremendous amount of patience and I also work on increasing their self-confidence.
I have taken college classes on how to work with students with special needs. I have attended IEP or 504 meetings for my students when ever possible. This has brought me understanding to the needs of each student as I got to know their parents and caregivers. I have come to appreciate the importance of taking into account the many aspects of working with special needs students.
Being raised with a sister who has special needs made me comfortable with students who learn differently, and they in turn, are comfortable with me.
In addition to successfully working with special needs students in my classrooms for many years (with and without paraprofessionals), I have tutored special needs students one-on-one after school and in my tutoring business.
I took a study skills class in my Sophomore year in college and it changed my life. Learning about organization skills, note taking, time management, study skills and test taking skills changed my life. My grade went up to 4.0's, my stress level went down and I even had time to enjoy my life outside of school and studying. In my decades of teaching, I have included study skills when ever I could. Years later. I still get emails from former students on how my class helped them in their school careers, and I really think it is all about learning to be a student who has control over their work and time.