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The key to succeeding in any subject is understanding what you read. This holds true in elementary, high school, college and graduate studies. Many times, a student does not do as well as they could have because they didn't understand what they read. Sometimes this is due to problems with vocabulary (not understanding certain words or phrases that are important). Lack of success can also be attributed to having not understood certain parts of a lesson, which makes it very difficult to master the lesson. I always make sure the student I am working with understands the lesson as we go along, and I make sure that they feel comfortable with the fact that they can ask questions at any time if they need to clarify a point or work on reviewing certain steps.
Most recently, I worked as a paraprofessional in an Abbott district in New Jersey. These schools are designated as Abbott districts if they are in high risk, low income areas. In this position, I worked with the classroom teacher, and had to fulfill all the duties of an actual teacher. I made and implemented lesson plans, did one on one reviews with the students, assessed students for progress individually, and made plans for remediation with students who needed it. I was also chosen by the principal of the school to work one on one with students that were thought to need some special education services, before they were classified I had a lot of success with this, and enjoyed it very much!
I found that with any student there is always room for much improvement. All it takes is getting to know the student as an individual. When you know where their strengths and weaknesses are, you can help them use their existing knowledge to overcome any weak points in their understanding. Once a student achieves progress, they want to achieve more. This helps them develop their talents to the utmost, and gives them confidence to keep making progress. This is a valuable tool for the rest of their lives.
I have a New Jersesy Pre-K through 3 certification, and am planning to transfer that to NY. I am also planning to enroll in graduate school to pursue a Master's in Special Education.
Some children that I worked with in the public school had been diagnosed with ADD/ADHD. I found that the best way to help these students progress is to help them focus on the task at hand. The way I do this is to break things down into small, manageable steps and assess their understanding at each step. Reinforcement of the step is also key to them retaining their understanding.
I have always been a very fast reader, and able to spot grammar and spelling mistakes. This has been a strong point of mine since early elementary school days and in fact allowed me to graduate high school one and a half years earlier. It also was an immense help in college days, as being able to write compelling papers is key to success in college, allowing for a high grade point average.
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