Progressive. As reading specialist and teacher, the most important thing to remember is that each mind learns in a different way. Kathleen takes into account the learning strengths and styles of each student she supports. She uses her knowledge of pedagogy and methodology to find an individual “way in” to reading for each student. Literacy is the basis for so much that we all need to accomplish, and progress in reading often means gains in other subjects. It’s necessary to address all subjects under the literacy umbrella.
Responsive. Once we begin taming the underlying issues, there are often still other hurdles to face. By employing elements from programs like those based on Orton-Gillingham methods and the TC Reading and Writing Project, Kathleen cultivates development of foundation skills, but doesn’t stop there. As students gain skill and confidence, they often want to explore new ideas and subjects. Kathleen’s attention to the individual allows her to respond to this curiosity with projects that satisfy. Over the years, there have been many projects. Some favorite explorations have been recreating handicrafts from the Little House series, writing a book about the scariest snakes in the world, and (believe it or not) racial representation in the most popular shows on Netflix!
Effective. The most satisfying part of Kathleen’s work is embodied in her students who now approach literacy with excitement! They are thirsty for the knowledge and entertainment they get from literature. There is no longer a look of fear on your child’s face when confronted with a new literacy task. Instead, we see determination and resilience. She has confidence that the skills she possesses will allow her ideas to shine through. It’s definitely not easy, but it is so worthwhile. Each of us can learn to read better and express ourselves more effectively. All we need is the right tools and skills to deal with our challenges.