As a kid I dreamed of working with children as a teacher. Due to medical issues, I was in a wheelchair during the second and third grades, and had a teacher come to my home two hours per week; my mother was my teacher for the rest of the time. Not being able to go to school made me feel different than the other kids and as I grew up, I realized that being different is OK. I also realized that I could incorporate that knowledge with my love of teaching and passion for special education.
I went to the University of Maryland, College Park for my BS degree, and graduated with a dual degree in Elementary Education and Special Education. I then found a temporary position as a hospital teacher, teaching at the Children's Hospital in Washington, DC. The following year, I applied to the public schools in my community, and was hired as a Special Education Resource Teacher in Loudon County, Virginia. Working with the students was wonderful, and I often spent free time making games and planning activities.
Needing to go to graduate school, I moved home to NY and enrolled in Manhattanville College, where I earned a Master's Degree in Special Education. After graduating, I was hired by Yonkers Public Schools and remained there for my entire teaching career. I was again having fun teaching students!
Working in the Yonkers Public School system, I worked with children with varying disabilities and functioning levels. Reading seemed to be the largest area of weakness, and I began to look for ways of helping my students. I took a course in multi-sensory education and began researching and trying different methodologies. I was afforded the opportunity of being trained in Reading Revolution and the basic course in Wilson Reading and began training teachers and students in multi-sensory techniques. My colleagues were inspired and my students were successful. Most important, the children benefited from alternative multi-sensory approaches to learning especially when conventional approaches didn't work.
After many years in self-contained classrooms and as a Resource teacher at the elementary and middle school levels, a move to the Board of Education was the next logical step. I applied for the position of Chairperson of Special Education, was appointed to the position, and felt I was making a positive impact on more of the students. Working with parents and students, and designing appropriate individualized educational plans was very rewarding.
As I thought of my retirement, I knew I would still keep my connection to teaching children and training teachers. I have kept my private tutoring clients and began doing teacher and student trainings for New Paradigm Reading. My love of children and education continues, and I am open to new opportunities to do what I love.
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