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Dyslexia Therapy Reimagined

Ricky Smith

Location: New Braunfels, Texas and Del Rio, Texas

Education: B.S., Angelo State University

Years Experience Teaching: 36

Years Experience In Dyslexia: 13

Teaching Experience

I have 36 years of teaching experience. I have taught grades K through 12 in a variety of subjects including Elementary P.E. (K-5), Secondary English (7-8), Secondary Reading (7-8), Secondary P.E. & Health (7-8), Dyslexia Teacher (6-12), Dyslexia Therapist (2-12), and Director of Athletics (7-12). I have also coached Texas UIL Athletics for 29 of those 36 years.

Professional Affiliations

Academic Language Therapy Association – ALTA
International Dyslexia Association – IDA
Texas Retired Teachers Association – TRTA
Texas High School Athletic Directors Association – THSADA

Programs Trained In

Take Flight – Certified Academic Language Therapy (CALT) training through The Scottish Rite Learning Center of South Texas in San Antonio, Texas.

Age Range You Feel Most Comfortable With:
I feel comfortable with ages 6 through adults and/or grades 2 and beyond.

Why did you decide to become a CALT?

Being dyslexic, I have an understanding and connection with students that struggle or have to work harder with reading, spelling, comprehension, fluency, etc… than other students. As an English and Reading teacher, I tended to gravitate toward wanting to teach children with similar struggles that I remember having in Elementary and Middle School. I was given the OPPORTUNITY to be Dyslexic Teacher in my school district and compete the 2 year training program, at The Scottish Rite Learning Center of South Texas, to become a Dyslexia Therapist.

Favorite moment working with dyslexic students?

My favorite moment(S) have been watching their eyes light up and their smile broaden, when students see the success they are having in the Take Flight program. Witnessing and being a part of the process when a young person makes the connection of combining letters to make words, words to make phrases, and phrases to make sentences, and then comprehending what they just read. : )

Your goal when working with kids with dyslexia?

My goals are to help individuals with dyslexia know they are not alone. There are many of us dyslexics in the world, and we have to work a little harder and learn/process in a different way, to become better readers and spellers. I want to help them become better readers and spellers through the Take Flight program. I have always believed the harder you work, the better you will become at whatever task, job, activity, etc…. you choose, TO WORK HARD AT. You get out life, what you put into life.

Your teaching style, personality?

My teaching style is encouraging, motivating, and always have high expectations for my students. I have a belief that working hard, at hard things, will eventually lead to a person being successful. I like to incorporate fun, laughter, and a sense of humor into the hard work. I have a sincere desire to see my students succeed.

Any family details?

I am surrounded by great family and friends. I have four children and one granddaughter. Three of my four children are college graduates, and the fourth is nearing her degree in education. My fiancé is also a retired educator, with most of her 30 years in education as an Elementary Bilingual teacher.

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