I am the mother of a special needs child and have worked as a teaching assistant, a substitute teacher, a classroom teacher and a special education teacher. These multiple roles allowed me to gain a broad array of skills to achieve success with all kinds of children. I have worked in supported education to include special needs children in general education settings. I also have worked in self-contained settings with ED/BD students and low-functioning students with autism, Down’s Syndrome and severe cerebral palsy. My wide-ranging personal and professional experiences allow me to bring great dedication, understanding and skill to the development of curriculum to support learners of all types.
I believe in a “Universal Design for Learning” approach to teaching in today’s inclusive classrooms. Multi-sensory, multi-modal lessons incorporate auditory, visual and kinesthetic variety in every lesson, which allows students with auditory and language processing differences to access the curriculum. Limited vocabulary is often at the heart of many comprehension and representation struggles. Developing academic vocabulary, using frequent written, visual and hands-on context opportunities, word walls, semantic maps and virtual field trips is an essential goal for inclusion classrooms. I also believe in multiple means of engagement and student choice to demonstrate learning. Every classroom has a wide range of abilities, so each lesson should have tiered challenge appropriate to each child’s ability level. Most struggling learners need more time and more repetition to succeed. Concept anchoring activities and 5-minute interventions provide the narrowed focus and varied repetition struggling students need to succeed. Today's classrooms can include children with behavioral, social and emotional skill deficits. I believe in an inclusive skill-streaming approach to teach all children how to succeed along multiple dimensions -- not just academically. Skill streaming encompasses such lessons as non-verbal social skills, frustration tolerance, organizational skills and self-advocacy. In a digital information age marked by rapid change, students must learn how to learn. They need to learn to set and achieve goals. They need to understand their best form of information input, working memory and long-term memory. They need to learn how to organize themselves and work well with others. My vision is for all students to achieve success in diverse classrooms that prepare them for success in a global world.
Yet to be added
EDUCATION University of Saint Francis, LBS1 Endorsement National-Louis University, Master of Arts in Teaching Northwestern University, J.L. Kellogg School, Masters of Management University of Illinois, Bachelor of Science - Business Administration
Yet to be added