Location: Lewisville, TX
Education: M.Ed, CALT, LDT
Years Experience Teaching: 22
Years Experience In Dyslexia: 10
I began my teaching career as a high school English teacher and middle school reading interventionist for six years. I then moved on to the college level to teach reading and writing to unprepared college students. I finished dyslexia certification in 2012 through the Dyslexia Training Institute and then furthered my education and became a CALT and LDT. During those years, I also provided private instruction to struggling readers of all ages. I also teach educational psychology and early literacy courses in the Teacher Preparation Department at North Central Texas College.
I am a member of the Academic Language Therapy Association, the Society for the Scientific Study of Reading, the International Dyslexia Association, the National and Texas Association for the Education of Young Children, the Texas Association of Teacher Educators and the Texas Community College Teachers Association.
Programs Trained In
I am trained in the Orton-Gillingham approach through the Dyslexia Training Institute and the in the Take Flight curriculum (Scottish Rite). I am also familiar with IMSE curriculum and have used it regularly in therapy and tutoring sessions.
Age Range You Feel Most Comfortable With:
I’m comfortable with any age student! While most of my “traditional” experience in the school setting is with older students, most of my private therapy experience is with young children.
Why did you decide to become a CALT?
I decided to become a CALT because I worked with SO many OLDER struggling readers in the early part of my career. Many of the strategies that I was taught to use in my traditional teacher training were not working with these students. I kept searching for answers to why these adults couldn’t read and found that many of them had undiagnosed dyslexia or other language disabilities. Becoming a CALT gave me the tools I needed to help struggling readers of all ages and also prepared me to educate the next generation of teachers in my role as a college instructor in a teacher preparation department.
Favorite moment working with dyslexic students?
My absolute favorite moment(s) are when students finally master a concept that they have been struggling with for days/weeks. To see the joy, relief, success, excitement, and most importantly, hope, in their faces when they finally succeed at a task they have been practicing and trying to master is teacher gold! There is nothing better than seeing that self-confidence develop!
Your goal when working with kids with dyslexia?
I have three goals when working with dyslexic students. Obviously, the first is to teach them to read and write/spell through a multisensory structured literacy approach. Second, I work very hard to help students understand what dyslexia is, how it affects their learning, and how to advocate for themselves. Finally, and sometimes most importantly, I want my students to understand that dyslexia doesn’t completely define them. Every dyslexic student has special strengths, and I try to focus on those strengths in every session, reminding students they are more than their diagnosis.
Your teaching style, personality?
My teaching style is responsive to the student. Some students need more structure than others. While I implement instruction with fidelity and provide structure during the lesson, I also like to get to know my students. I always allow a few minutes at the beginning of the lesson for greeting each other and share time. Then, we dive in to the lesson. For students who have anxiety or ADHD, I provide short breaks to allow for refocusing and movement, especially if the student is young. We always end the lesson with a focus on the positives.
Any family details?
I am married with two adult children and one spoiled beagle. :)