Location: North Little Rock, Arkansas
Education: Bachelor of Arts in International Studies, Bachelor of Arts in Spanish, Master of Arts in Language Acquisition, and Master of Education
Years Experience Teaching: 24
Years Experience In Dyslexia: 8
University level Spanish and Language Education Instructor
PreK – 8th Grade English as a Second Language Teacher
Dyslexia Therapist – K – 8th (Private therapy)
ALTA – Arkansas
Programs Trained In
Age Range You Feel Most Comfortable With:
5 and up
Why did you decide to become a CALT?
My route to becoming a CALT has been a long and winding road. I spent the first half of my career teaching Spanish and Language Education at the college level. Through that position, I had the opportunity to begin working with English Language Learners at a local elementary school. It was through this experience that I began my journey of becoming a Certified Academic Language Therapist. I developed a special interest in early interventions when I quickly realized that many of students had other language issues, and I needed the tools to meet their needs. Later, when my son was diagnosed with dyslexia and I could not get him the help he needed, I decided to begin the official training in the Take Flight program. Now, my son is doing great, and I want to help other families. I believe it is extremely important to advocate for both the student and the parents.
Favorite moment working with dyslexic students?
There are so many moments that bring happy tears to my eyes. I love it when I see a struggling reader become a confident, successful reader. I cherish the emails and texts from parents when their children are now able to do well on school assignments or when they get good reports from their classroom teachers. When my students start enthusiastically telling me about the books they are reading on their own, words cannot express how happy that makes me.
Your goal when working with kids with dyslexia?
My first goal is to always establish a great relationship built on trust with the student and family. Personal connection is extremely important. After that, I want to build the student’s confidence and to foster a love of reading.
Your teaching style, personality?
I organize my classes around the child’s personality and interests. I want the student to be intrinsically motivated to learn so my classes are fun too! My students know I expect a lot from them, but I am always upbeat, positive, and encouraging.
Any family details?
I am married and have two children. We also have three dogs and a somewhat angry cat. I love to read, play tennis and pickleball, and to travel.
Any extra anecdotal info you want to add?
I believe I am an undiagnosed dyslexic. I struggled tremendously as a child, but my fifth-grade teacher must have recognized something in me because she stayed after school every day and helped me learn to read. She changed my life, and I hope to pass that kindness on now.