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Sarah's Profile

Sarah's Profile
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Name: Sarah
Gender: FEMALE
Education Level:
Language: N/A
Subject: Math, Language Arts, Social Studies
Bio description: I started my career in education as a noon supervisor on the playground. My responsibilities were to watch students during lunch and recess to ensure safety. This included conflict resolution and building relationships with students. After two months I became an instructional aide in a K-3 SDC (mild to moderate) classroom. During this time I worked with three students to identify struggles/disabilities, guide behavior, implement techniques for self-help and self-regulation, and tailored teaching techniques. One of my students had trouble focusing and social/emotional deficiencies. I worked with him on recognizing triggers and cues, calming techniques, and how to select and use distractions to his advantage. Not all distractions are bad, some can be used to create better connections in the mind. For example, if we are discussing a subject and the student is distracted by others this is a negative distraction. It removes focus from what they need to be focusing on to something else. In this instance, I redirect the student back to where the attention needs to be. Positive distractions occur when we are discussing a subject and the child interrupts with a personal connection; sometimes clearly related, others not as obvious. However, everyone’s mind works differently and while I may not instantly recognize the connection, after a brief discussion/explanation by the student I gain understanding. This is important in allowing them the opportunity to relate the material on personal level to reinforce their personal understanding of the information. It is important to help guide them in understanding the difference between the types of distractions by letting them know when one is appropriate versus the other not being appropriate. The was also a kinesthetic learner and offering things he could manipulate with his hands was important. Things such as counting cubes, dice, flash cards placed on the floor however he liked, physically using his fingers to count on number lines, etc. He did show improvement, however, continued intensive support was needed. Another student was autistic and was unable to identify letters or write at the age of 7. After identifying where she was at, I implemented tools and techniques to help develop the abilities needed. We worked on letter identification by rehearsing the alphabet using visuals while reciting. For help in writing we had to start at the most basic levels of pen control. For this I purchased a book on tracing basic lines such as straight, diagonal, zig zag, and loops. As her pen control improved, I purchased a dry erase alphabet book for her to start working on tracing the letters. By the time I left she was able to trace with ease all letters of the alphabet as well as starting to write some on her own. The third student I worked with was a third grader reading at a kindergarten level. Each day we would read a book, the same one for one week. Because his reading level was so low we had to start with phonemic awareness. As I would read to him, I would point to words and sounds within the words to help him identify what letters make what sounds. He would then read the book back to me. I would allow him the opportunity to recognize, remember, and try sounding out the words before offering help or support (such as starting to sound out the first letter(s) of a word). There was improvement, however, continued intensive support was needed. I worked in this position with the above children for five months, during which time they each made tremendous improvements given the time I had with them. After five months I had acquired my substitute teaching permit and began working as a substitute teacher. I worked the in-house suspension classroom at two different K-6 schools in the district. During this time I helped to create and implement plans and procedures for one of the schools. This ranged from social/emotional support to tutoring kids that were struggling in class to keep up. I also worked a long-term position for a 5th grade class before the closure of schools. During this time I created lesson plans and projects at the principles request. It was a difficult time for the students having felt abandoned by their teacher. However, I remained consistent in my expectations as well keeping them motivated and engaged. The projects I created and teaching style I implanted seemed be a hit with the students. At the beginning of July I was offered to return with a 30 day assignment at the start of the school year. However, a few weeks later the governor put our county on the watch list and put schools into distance learning. I was no longer needed in the classroom and have begun to seek tutoring opportunities. I enjoy helping students who need that little extra (compassion, help, understanding) to succeed. This is my life path and a true pleasure.
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