Education: M.S., M.A., CALT in training
Years Experience Teaching: 27
Years Experience In Dyslexia: 6
I have been an educator for the past 27 years. I began my career as an English teacher after completing my Bachelor’s in English and receiving my Master of Arts in Education. I taught English for many years, then transitioned in to Science and Grammar, and then into Science and Social Studies. That captivated my interest, and so I returned to school to earn an MS in Geospatial Science, which is a geography degree. That led me to teach Human Geography, Weather and Climate, and World Geography at the college level. I enjoyed that so much, I decided to pursue post graduate work in Literacy Studies at Middle Tennessee State University. While there, I got to work at the Tennessee Center for Dyslexia assisting with research and various dyslexia interventions. I went back to the classroom teaching English, Latin, and Logic. Now I teach ELA inclusion classes at the middle school half day.
I am a member of the Association of American Geographers.
Programs Trained In
Age Range You Feel Most Comfortable With:
I enjoy working with students in later elementary school, middle school, and older students as well.
Why did you decide to become a CALT?
While I was doing post-graduate work at Middle Tennessee State University, I was a graduate assistant at the Tennessee Center for Dyslexia. The courses I took in Dyslexia as well as the research and intervention training I took part in were so interesting to me. I have always enjoyed working with students one on one, and being a CALT gives me another way to do that.
Favorite moment working with dyslexic students?
Last year, I had a young student trying to use speech to text to write his paper. He had a very distinct accent, and the computer had trouble spelling what he was saying. He looked at it and said, “Mrs. Phillips, I know I can’t spell, but that doesn’t look anything like what I said.” Progress made!
Your goal when working with kids with dyslexia?
My main goal is to instill confidence in my students as they learn. I want them to embrace the learning difference, because it gives them a unique perspective and leads to creative ways to solve problems.
Your teaching style, personality?
I embrace the philosophy that we learn by doing. That is why I love the multisensory approach. I enjoy what I do, and I have a good sense of humor, so I want to make the students feel at ease and enjoy what they are doing. I am an encourager, and I do that as I teach.
Any family details?
I have been married for a really long time. We have one son, a daughter-in-law, a precious grandson, and a cat that waffles between acting like a toddler and a teenager, depending on her mood. She likes yogurt, cheese, and ice cream, so I think sometimes that she is more like a mouse than a cat. I like to bird watch, so we have lots of bird feeders, hence the cat stays indoors.
Any extra anecdotal info you want to add?
I love to garden, which is why I live in the South- extra months to grow flowers and vegetables. I hate the heat and humidity though, which is why I have a pool. I love sports, but love baseball the most. The St. Louis Cardinals are my team!!