Ever since I was a resource teacher in the public school system, I have been focused on making the how-to-read process easier and faster.
It was a heart wrenching experience helping frustrated 2nd to 6th grade students, who felt like failures; all of whom had gone though our school curriculum since their first day in kindergarten and spoke English. Often they were discipline problems acting out their frustrations. I saw how helping them learn how to read changed their lives and gave them hope for the future.
Over the years working toward the goal of making the learning-to-read process easier and faster, I have also found intuitive, enthusiastic young children who wanted to read quicker too. These intuitive readers often teach themselves to read but not always efficiently. Having an organized foundation that coordinated reading, spelling, punctuation, grammar and penmanship gave them the foundation to take on the world. They loved being able to get on with the never-ending world of content a little sooner.
I have been encouraged by parents of my students to create a blog so others could be helped as they have been. A blog seems like a wonderful way to share my successes and challenges and hopefully help teachers, parents and home schoolers in the process.
My expertise is teaching beginning readers HOW to READ. I have not yet found a child I could not successfully teach to read. Some children zing through the process and others take longer, but all are successful without experiencing the dreaded fear of failure that does such damage.
The knowledge I have in teaching all types of learners to read is most helpful for home schoolers and resource teachers. This is where the buck stops, no excuses. These people are responsible teaching the child to read no matter what the standards are. What works is my standard!
A Little Background:
At a young age I knew I would be a teacher. I graduated from college and began teaching immediately. I loved the challenge of figuring out what road blocks were to learning and what I could do to make learning easier. I taught 4, 5, 6 grades and became a resource teacher accepting the challenge of directorship of a federally funded program called Project Clinic. Project Clinic was a cross-age tutoring project with the goal of teaching failing 5th and 6th graders how to read in a short period of time. As the director of the program, with the help of experts in the area, we succeeded in raising the grade levels of the children in the project from 2-4 years in one school year.
As administrations change, our successes were not promulgated to help other teachers, but I benefited greatly from the experience.
I ended my public school teaching career when I was expecting my first child. With referrals from my principal, teachers and parents of my students, I began a tutoring business. I tutored mostly children who had difficulty learning to how read and began the process of perfecting the cross-age tutoring curriculum I had begun as a resource teacher.
I had a preschool for several years. As I began to teach my children to read, others wanted to join their success, and my preschool evolved into a reading business. I taught small groups of primarily Pre K, kindergarten, and first graders how to read. Most group classes were two hours long and met once a week before or after school. In that short amount of teaching time, my students excelled in reading in their schools. I never advertised but had waiting lists of students. Between or after classes I continued to tutor children having trouble learning to read with amazing results.
As the business grew, I needed to hire teachers, a secretary, an accountant, a designer, who helped me with developing worksheets, writers who helped me write practice readers and artists who illustrated those practice readers. With the growth of a very popular business attracting patrons who could afford the best, I also attracted business interests, which evolved into a successful learning center using part of the system I created from which I have retired.
I continue to tutor, and as reading curriculum standards change, I realize the need to preserve what I’ve learned in a way that would benefit others searching for solutions to help teach beginning readers how to read.