I believe in the power of education. I believe that all children should be given access to education. And I believe that all children are capable of being educated. I am an educator because of these beliefs.
I believe that all children want to learn. I believe that learning disabilities are a real struggle. And I believe that all children are capable of being educated. I am a Special Educator because of these beliefs.
I believe that reading is the key to knowledge. I believe that reading is one of the hardest things we learn to do. And I believe that all children are capable of learning to read. I am a reading leader because of these beliefs.
I have a dream that one day all students will be treated equally; that there will arise, an education model that encourages students to learn in their own way and to grow at their own pace. In my dream students are given all the time they need to learn how to master a skill before they are moved along to the next skill. Until this happens, I will make sure that my students are given that opportunity in my classroom. I will encourage productive struggle, I will celebrate their triumphs, and I will relish mistakes as an opportunity to grow.
As an educator, I am true to my beliefs and dreams. I work to ensure that all students have the same access to education. I do this by working closely with my fellow educators, I help them support students with disabilities in the classroom and plan with them. I encourage them to learn about the disabilities, particularly the ones that are not visible, so they can empathize with students with reading disabilities or Attention Deficit Hyper-Active Disorder. I advocate for their rights to assistive technology, working to help them see it is not “cheating” to use voice recognition software, it is merely bypassing their struggle and allowing them to show what they know.
I enjoy working with students with disabilities and feel that I am particularly good at working with students with reading disabilities. I like watching students eventually crack the magic code that is learning to read. I love when they remember a difficult phoneme, or recognize a spelling pattern in their own reading. As a special educator, I get to support, both as a teacher and an advocator, those students who are often ignored. I get to use all resources available to me to help all students get the education they deserve.
I feel that my research reflects my philosophy of education very strongly. I am trying to show that students with reading disabilities can help younger students, and themselves, by learning how to conduct fluency tutoring sessions. These students have something to share and I am giving them an opportunity to do so. Peer tutoring is not a new teaching method, but I am employing it in a new way, while at the same time reversing the roles of students who are typically thought of as those who need the help. I am excited to see the results of this study and possibly find a way to implement it as part of my regular program. I believe it is something that can benefit a lot of students in several ways, adding skills, building relationships, and boosting confidence.
As much as I enjoy my job, I have career goals that extend beyond my resource room. The more I learn about our educational needs, the more I want to do about it. I would like to spend the next five to ten years honing my craft, while continuing my education. I would then like to have the opportunity to educate educators, whether that be working at the district level, or teaching at the college level. There is nothing that can convince me that investing in our future, by educating our youth, is not the most important thing I can be doing. Someone once told me that educating teachers is simply extending that influence.