Location: Athens, AL
Education: MS – Speech Pathology, EdS – Reading
Years Experience Teaching: 20
Years Experience In Dyslexia: 5
I have been a school-based SLP for 18 years with two additional years of experience in private practice. The “break” from the schools showed me where my heart lies, and that is working with school-aged children in the school setting. I found that I missed all of the students, not just those on my caseload. I have worked in a variety of school districts including in Nebraska, Texas, Florida, and Alabama. I have worked with preschoolers through middle schoolers both co-teaching in general education and providing pull-out services for speech/language.
American Speech-Language Hearing Association (ASHA)
Programs Trained In
I am certified in Take Flight and Neuhaus. I have also completed training in Orton-Gilliingham and S.P.I.R.E.
Age Range You Feel Most Comfortable With:
Intermediate through Middle School (9 – 15)
Why did you decide to become a CALT?
I started my journey into learning more about dyslexia pretty quickly after I began working in the schools. I’d had a couple of students whose reading and writing skills did not match up with their oral language skills which confused me. After discovering dyslexia and reading as much as I could find, I felt compelled to learn and do more for these kids who were in middle school at the time. A couple of years later, I met a young lady who introduced herself to me adding that she “used to be dyslexic.” She had been receiving intervention since she was in early elementary school and loved to read. She no longer had the same struggles that she had started with which intrigued me further.
Years later, I had only been able to attend seminars to learn as much as I could about dyslexia. When I learned that my state was looking to have teachers trained in Take Flight through the Shelton School, I was excited to jump in with both feet. It has been an amazing experience learning so much more about dyslexia and how to help people learn to overcome these challenges like the young lady that I had met several years ago.
Favorite moment working with dyslexic students?
My absolute favorite moment is when my students (or their parents) tell me that they bought/got a book and they are excited to read it. That moment when they find that they are beginning to enjoy reading not dreading it.
Your goal when working with kids with dyslexia?
My goals are to help them build their confidence and to learn to enjoy reading.
Your teaching style, personality?
I am pretty “old-school” in my teaching style. I believe that students, teachers, and parents need to have a great rapport and be respectful to each other. I am lovingly patient, firm, strict, and blunt. I genuinely enjoy getting to know my students personalities and interests.
Any family details?
I have a 15 year old son and two puppies. We are very active in the local high school band year round, as my son plays in marching band, pep band, jazz band, and concert band.
Any extra anecdotal info you want to add?
I believe that everyone can learn to read and to be their best selves. We all need to work together to help each other grow and learn every day.