Location: Texarkana, AR
Education: M.Ed, CALT, Diagnostician
Years Experience Teaching: 10
Years Experience In Dyslexia: 9
After receiving a Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies in 2012 from Texas A & M University in Texarkana, Texas, Debbie began working in special education. She quickly realized the need for additional training to meet the needs of her dyslexic students. By the end of the school year, she enrolled in a Take Flight therapist training course. In 2016, she earned a Master of Education in Special Education specializing in Dyslexia through Midwestern State University in Wichita Falls, Texas leading to certification as an Educational Diagnostician. Simultaneously, she completed her Certified Academic Language Therapist (CALT) training through Texas Scottish Rite Hospital and earned a certificate in Connections: OG in 3D through The Apple Group for Dyslexia.
Academic Language Therapy Association (ALTA)
Programs Trained In
Pre-Flight, Take Flight, and Connections: OG in 3D
Age Range You Feel Most Comfortable With:
Why did you decide to become a CALT?
During my last month at Texas A&M, I attended a seminar about dyslexia. I can still remember the moment I realized that everything the speaker was describing sounded so much like my own childhood. It was in that moment that I understood why God led me to pursue a career in teaching. I was sure of two things at that point: I’m dyslexic, and God was preparing me to educate others with dyslexia. I spent the next few years learning as much as I could about dyslexia. The fact that prison cells are built based on the number of third grade students that are failing reading broke my heart. This Pipeline to Prison ideology is what fuels my fire and drives me to be an advocate for students.
Favorite moment working with dyslexic students?
For me, the joy is seeing my students discover their strengths, passions, and potential. I love the random, everyday moments like hearing one of my students lead the morning announcements, be nominated for Scholar of the Month, or excitedly tell me how they wrote an entire essay in cursive. Seeing my students gain confidence and become lifelong learners is what justifies my calling.
Your goal when working with kids with dyslexia?
My primary goals are encouraging students to dream big, know their worth, and to advocate for themselves.
Your teaching style, personality?
I would say my teaching style is structured, focused on student needs and learning styles, with a lot of kinesthetic activities thrown in to help lock in learning and keep students engaged.
Any family details?
My husband and I are runners. We teach a Run For God 5K Challenge group at our local church. We are on a mission to run in all 50 states and shine the light of Jesus as we go.