Learning Specialist for Humanities
Learning Specialist for Humanities
I myself come from a background of special education. I was classified with a learning disability early in my childhood. Since then, professionally I've worked in teaching for almost two decades as a certified special education teacher receiving academic honors in my Masters program, worked with individuals in a teaching capacity (ages 7-adults) for more than two decades, taught in France, speak two languages, headed a cultural exchange program to Norway, coached at a varsity level, authored a book on emotional intelligence for teenagers, tutored, presented a new teaching model before Google and currently I am working as a certified special education teacher for the Department Of Education in NYC
Here is some more of my story...
I was fortunate to have a resource room teacher who helped me understand my academics in a manner that fit my learning style. I would say that having a learning disability never impeded my drive to succeed, but rather it motivated me to think about things differently. In fact, the way in which I think has taken me through many wonderful and enlightening experiences. My experiences have included co-authoring a book on teenage anger called Staying Cool. I have also worked with diverse students from unique backgrounds and I have coached successfully at a varsity level. I was teaching and living in France. While in France I had to learn French and adjust to a new and different culture. No small challenge!
I am happy to report I have faced it successfully. I believe we are defined by our choices, but more significantly our attitudes about the choices we make. I consider myself to be open minded and progressive in my thinking and how I view the world. My greater intention in life is to affect positive change for the people I interact with. As a teacher of special education, I can empathize with the learner who might have some challenges not only academically but emotionally as well. I embrace the opportunity to impart what I've learned to students and how I can better help them succeed in their life.
Philosophy of Learning:
I was never a strong student. Based on my academic record, I was average. I never embraced school, yet I have always had a deep desire to learn. Not withstanding the occasional teacher who greatly impacted my outlook on academics, my education was boosted outside of school through my experiences and love of learning. The one time in my life that I did excel in school, however, was during my master's program in teaching. The driving force behind my success in graduate school was the direct result of my passion for the subject. It had taken me a long time to realize what I was good at, combined with what I loved; teaching for me has been a sweet spot. I find all too often that students are discouraged by learning for a variety of reasons including, relationship to teacher, methodology, anxiety about the subject and an overall unpleasant experience academically. What I believe to be paramount in each learner is for them to find meaning and relevance in the subject area, no matter what it is. Or, provide as an entry point from which students can taste first taste success. Teaching to student's strengths and creating a safe environment for mistakes is central to learning. This, in part, can be achieved with a myriad of techniques and strategies that I use to enhance interest whereby the student is encouraged to think independently and critically. One ambition that I have in life is to better learn how to learn. I have been amazed in my experience as a teacher by the extraordinary capacity of many students who otherwise might not have found success, but when given the right opportunity and positive environment simply flourish.
I love the humanities and aligning the different disciplines of humanities by looking at the big picture questions and examining how everything is essentially connected. Thus, taking that information and discerning it into knowledge from which students can find meaning and relevance. My forte is helping students with interdisciplinary learning while focusing in on the content. Moreover, through my experience of working with a diverse population from different nationalities to age and youngsters with special needs, I am able to connect to students who have different challenges that impede their progress. Currently, I work at a high school in Harlem teaching the Humanities. I work with students individually and in the classroom. I've been teaching now for almost two decades always trying to improve my craft and I'm also a father of two speaking of teaching....
Philosophy of Teaching:
My philosophy of teaching comes primarily from my passion for the craft. Teaching to me is a calling and a gift. Teachers have an awesome responsibility to impart to students the necessary tools to succeed in today's competitive world. Since students spend most of their time in school, teaching is a significant force in shaping their minds. It is the role of teachers to facilitate learning by giving students the tools to think creatively, critically and to problem solve effectively. In effect, it is the role of teachers to empower students to be responsible for their own learning. In essence, we as teachers help students navigate their journey through the academic world to ultimately realize success. While success is not always achieved, resilience-- the ability to persist despite failure and rejection--is fundamental. This has a monumental impact on success. In fact, what is often overlooked in education is this very important piece of emotional intelligence, resilience. To that end, the element of emotional intelligence is supported by research as being of critical importance for lifelong success and surely should have a place in the educational curriculum.