I love to teach. It is my favorite thing to do in the world. With over a decade of experience teaching students with exceptional needs, teaching children is my life's work.
I am currently a special education teacher working with students with many exceptionalities, including ADHD, emotional disabilities, learning disabilities, and students who are twice exceptional. I worked for eight years at a school for students with emotional disabilities and autism. Along with my teaching experience, I have held leadership roles both in my current position and in other positions at my previous school.
I am certified in special education, grades one through eight, from the Maryland State Department of Education and earned a Master's degree in education and human development from George Washington University.
In my spare time, I enjoy reading, listening to music, learning about history, playing with my dog, and keeping up with the ever-changing and much debated area of education policy.
My educational philosophy is to meet my students where they are. By building relationships and gaining trust, I have successfully reached and taught students who previously cared little for school or for learning. While rigorous expectations are important, realistic goals and data tracking are vital to knowing what a student's strengths and areas of need are.
I will give my all, drawing from my extensive experience and background, to work with your student on any areas of need while celebrating your student's unique gifts.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: James Madison University - Bachelors, Media Arts & Design
Graduate Degree: George Washington University - Masters, Special Education
Reading, watching movies, history, music, podcasts, education policy
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
My teaching philosophy to is meet clients where they are. As a special education teacher, task analysis is an important part of the process to find what a client's needs are. Then, I develop a plan to meet those needs.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
During the first session, I want to get to know my student. "Getting to know you" activities and questions, along with a brief screening, to determine who I am working with and what their strengths and needs are.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
Providing students with strategies and tips to make learning easier, no matter what the subject is, is my overall goal. I want to make sure my students can take what they have learned with them into the classroom environment. Through practice, visual cues, and student-centered activities geared towards their own learning styles and preferences, my students will be able to use those strategies in any setting.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
Motivation is key to learning. Developing a good relationship with a genuine rapport is important in any student/tutor relationship. I have taught students that are completely uninterested in school work, but who will work with me based on the strength of our relationship.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
As a special education teacher, my approach is dependent on the needs of my students. Making content - even difficult content - important and relevant is key to a deeper understanding of that content. The more connections between prior learning and experiences that can be made, the more open students are to learning and developing skills and concepts.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
Reading comprehension is key to not only reading/language arts, but also to other subjects such as social studies and science. Probing questions during and after reading, along with the use of graphic organizers and highlighters, assist students with finding main ideas and key details to ensure understanding. Making connections between prior learning and other texts is another important aspect of comprehension. Framing the subjects of a text in terms of prior knowledge is important in building interest and buy-in.