Location: Searcy, Arkansas
Education: CALT; Master’s of Education from Harding University with a focus on Special Education; Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education, certified K-6 and MS social studies; AA in Liberal Arts
Years Experience Teaching: 29
Years Experience In Dyslexia: 3
After obtaining a BA degree in Elementary Education from Harding University, I began my career as an early education teacher with a community program for economically disadvantaged families. Later, I transitioned to Arkansas Children’s Hospital, Kid’s First, where I served as a Developmental Specialist for 5 years. During my tenure, I pursued a master’s degree in Early Childhood with an emphasis in Special Education. In the same year that my son started kindergarten, I began teaching in a public school. I taught 2nd grade for a year and then went on to teach Language Arts and Social Studies to 5th graders for 19 years. In 2021, I took a new position in the same school and began my CALT training. Presently, I work full-time as a dyslexia/reading interventionist with students from kindergarten through 6th grade.
Academic Language Therapy Association (ALTA)
Certified Academic language Therapist (CALT)
Programs Trained In
Age Range You Feel Most Comfortable With:
KIndergarten – 8th grade
Why did you decide to become a CALT?
While teaching in a general education classroom, I noticed that many of my struggling students required assistance with basic reading skills. I frequently researched techniques to improve student learning and used them during small-group instruction. However, I still felt as if I was unable to address all my students’ individual needs. After my daughter was diagnosed with characteristics of dyslexia, I became more interested in becoming a Certified Academic Language Therapist (CALT). I was excited to start my CALT training when the job opportunity arose. Becoming a CALT has been a wonderful and rewarding experience.
Favorite moment working with dyslexic students?
I am unable to choose one favorite moment, but I thoroughly enjoy witnessing the enthusiasm students display when they become aware of their personal growth and reading progress. Recently, I had a student who was unable to read simple one-syllable words, but with persistence, the student was eventually able to read confidently. It is an amazing experience to observe the transformation made in the ‘whole child’ when a struggling student can begin to read on their own and become a better reader.
Your goal when working with kids with dyslexia?
As an educator, my primary responsibility is to support and guide students through their learning process. I want to build a relationship with my students to help motivate and encourage them as they gain confidence in their reading skills. I frequently remind my students that mistakes made during reading should be viewed as opportunities for growth and learning. My main goal is to help students understand the concepts presented in the lessons and successfully apply them to other reading materials.
Your teaching style, personality?
I enjoy making my students feel at ease by laughing together. Building relationships and getting to know my students is key to creating a strong learning partnership. I believe in maintaining a structured environment while keeping the atmosphere fun and enjoyable.
Any family details?
After being a single mother of two children for 13 years, I recently got married again. My husband and I are blessed with five grown children. This year, three of them are getting married, so our family is growing. We love having our house full of family and entertaining our friends. We also enjoy traveling. In my free time, I enjoy working in my flower beds or soaking up some sun.