I have worked with students with dyslexia both here in Dallas and Athens, Greece. In Dallas I am a volunteer teacher for adult literacy; we use the Scottish-Rite Reading program. I have a Master's degree in Learning disabilities with emphasis in reading from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio.
I am an experienced teacher abroad and in the United States. I have tutored for the STAAR test for the DISD for English and Reading. I have a Texas state teaching certificate in English and Reading. I was part of the core program for grade 6 (I did the language arts.) I have also taught all of the elementary subjects at the American Community Schools in Athens. I have taken over 24 semester hours of elementary education in math, science, music, and art as well as many workshops in related subjects.
I lived in Athens, Greece where I taught ESL on all levels for more than 40 years. I took ESL training for several universities that offered ESL courses in Athens. (University of Arkansas, University of Southern California, and George Peabody). I have over 40 years of teaching experience in the classroom and with private lessons. I have been in Dallas, Texas, from Greece for only 8 months. I am working as a volunteer teacher for ESL and adult literacy.
In Athens, Greece I taught reading in grades 3, 5, 8 and in high school. In working with phonics on all grade levels that I taugh, I used a phonics workbook to supplement the reading program which was generally Scott-Foresman. In addition to this I used various spelling workbooks from different companies to reinforce reading as many words are not written as they sound. The spelling book that I used depended on the one that was chosen by the school system. In both the reading and spelling, words were presented in groups with similar sounds, combinations, and patterns. These programs emphasized that letters have names and sounds that are associated with those names.
While at Miami University I took a M. Ed in reading; while there we explored various methods of teaching reading which included phonics, sight words, and complete saturation. Recently I took a one-week workshop to quality to teach the Scottish-Rite Reading Program which is phonics based. I have a valid Texas teaching certificate as a reading specialist.
I have a Texas and Ohio teaching certificate for reading. Reading is an essential part of all of my language arts programs. I work in Dallas teaching adults to read as part of a community literacy outreach.
During my many, many years of teaching Greek students in American universities with branches in Athens, Greece, I found that they lacked good study habits; perhaps this was through no fault of their own as the Greek educational system emphasizes rote learning not critical and analytical thinking.
Whereas American students need more work on how to memorize, Greek students needed to learn that they must attend class regularly, listen carefully, take notes, do their outside assignments, read slowly, do research, write essays and work together in groups. One critical aspect for all students is time management; in today’s world there are so many activities for students to do outside the classroom – movies, concerts, visiting with friends, nightclubs, etc. Getting over the importance of managing one’s time is essential to good study skills.
There are many textbooks on study skills; the universities where I worked required students to take a course in study skills; students felt that they did not need it, however, after a short time in the class, they realized its importance. One of the most difficult parts of the course was trying to get the students to find a quiet, comfortable place to study without outside noise and distraction. We also found out that they could not take class notes; note taking is extremely important as the student has the opportunity to review what he/she has learned in class by rewriting his notes at home. We worked with the students on participating in class discussions, listening carefully to others, and exchanging and sharing their ideas and opinions. Doing research also presented a challenge as Greek students were not familiar with gathering material through books, the internet, interviews, newspapers, magazines, and other media sources; once they learned to gather information, we then had to teach them how to organize and put their thoughts down for a research paper or essay.
Something so simple as how to use a dictionary or to something as complex as test taking were presented in our study skills class. We tried our best to make learning easier through the use of good study skills.