Cal State, Northridge (Graduate Coursework)
I graduated from Virginia Tech in 1993 with a B.A. in English Literature and having a concentration of classes in Child Development. I then moved to Southern California and raised two children, the youngest will be attending University of Alabama this year and I've returned to Blacksburg to help out my mother and be closer to my son and daughter (who already lives here).
During my almost 20 years in California I completed over 40 hours of graduate credit toward a California Teaching Credential focusing on Differentiated Instruction. I began my classroom experiences as a parent volunteer in my son's pre-school and pre-kindergarten classes, but as soon as he began school full-time I started substitute teaching at both the elementary and middle school levels. Before I knew it our local middle school principal asked me to come in full-time as a Resource Program Specialist supporting students with minor learning differences and there I stayed for 12 years! In that time, I was also the teacher of record for one year of general education 7th and 8th grade Sciences; students with minor learning disabilities; students identified as emotionally disturbed; students with behavior challenges preventing them from accessing curriculum in full sized classes; and of course, substitute teaching in all subjects at the elementary and middle school level. Of course, in addition to teaching in the classroom full-time I have also tutored students in multiple subject at the elementary, middle school, and high school levels.
I approach teaching and tutoring as a coach. My goal is to teach my clients that they can access any subject once they develop strategies and the self-confidence to do so. Having used a differentiated instruction approach for many years, I am comfortable interpreting and explaining approaches to any subject per a teacher's specific instructions OR to show my clients a number of ways to approach and solve problems. I employ a number of visual organization techniques to help students understand processes behind their assignments. These include idea mapping, color coding, sentence/paragraph/essay organization and breaking down required reading to find the important points for study time. As a educational coach, I promote working toward self-reliance and self-advocacy so that ultimately students move on to taking control of their education. I graduated from Virginia Tech in 1993 with a B.A. in English Literature and having a concentration of classes in Child Development. I then moved to Southern California and raised two children, the youngest will be attending University of Alabama this year and I've returned to Blacksburg to help out my mother and be closer to my son and daughter
While in Los Angeles, I worked directly with students identified with ADD or ADHD in a classroom environment. I worked as a Resource Specialist Teacher from 2000 until 2007 and was directly responsible for 28 - 35 students with varying mild/moderate learning differences. I have provided direct instruction in both Language Arts and Math as well as co-teaching and working collaboratively with single subject teachers and their classes.
For these students I have successfully used organization as a way to foster independent learners. This can be achieved with color coding, sticky notes, notebook guides and other strategies that integrate routines into their days.
While in Los Angeles, I worked directly with students identified with auditory processing deficits, visual processing deficits and visual motor integration deficits in a classroom environment. I worked as a Resource Specialist Teacher from 2000 until 2007 and was directly responsible for 28 - 35 students with varying mild/moderate learning differences where I provided direct instruction in both Language Arts and Math. I also have taught Special Day Program classes for students with Emotional Disturbance or with Specific Learning Disabilities where I taught all four academic subjects along with social skills. In addition, I have worked in general education classrooms co-teaching and working collaboratively with single subject teachers and their classes.
For these students I have successfully used a color coded system of writing that uses technology, graphic organizers and pen and paper (or keyboarding). These techniques can be modified to expand a student's access to study skills in any academic area.
I began my professional (ie. paid) teaching career as a caregiver for infants through three year olds, I then moved into working in a School Readiness & Language Development Program in Los Angeles.
More directly, for the past 18 months in Virginia, I've tutored several elementary students (from 2nd grade through 5th grade). Lessons have included reading comprehension, composition, and learning strategies.
I have substituted in the elementary grades as well as tutoring students in that age range during their summer breaks. Additionally, I've been a leader for Scouting programs that have spanned the elementary range.
I have worked extensively with students to help them identify successful writing strategies as well as methods for note-taking and locating information in texts.
I have taken and passed the RICA (Reading Instruction and Competence Assessment) and have completed graduate level coursework in reading instruction.
I have been trained to use the following techniques for accessing and organizing academic material: Inspiration software, Step Up to Writing and Thinking Maps (among others). I have successfully used graphic organizers, flip cards, and various types of outlining as well. Successful study skills are dependent on a student's individual learning styles, strengths and weaknesses.