Tell us about yourself.
Right after high school, I found myself sitting in a classroom taking classes to be a teacher. This was not anything I had planned, but five years later I found myself with a teaching degree. I have taught for 19 years in a variety of settings including homeschooling, regular education, and currently special education. When I first began teaching, I taught as an elementary substitute teacher for a few years. Then I came home, and taught my children for seven years until they graduated from high school. During my children’s college years, I returned to teaching, and also I had the opportunity to return to college and earn my masters, tuition free, in special education. Now I teach struggling kindergarten and first grade students reading and math and love it!
What do you like best about teaching?
I love teaching reading! When these ‘little ones’ first come to my resource room, I assess the current skills, discover the gaps in their foundation [which are there for various reasons], and then we get to work. Usually, the least likely reason for learning gaps is not that they are not sharp enough to learn to read. They are very sharp! They just need someone to put some successful reading tools in the toolbox for them to use. First, they have to learn to identify all the letters and corresponding sounds. Then they learn to blend letters in the order they appear. This is a really difficult skill for some students because they come to me with the idea that reading is a ‘guessing game.’ In reality that’s what reading has been for them because that’s how they have perceived reading since it was too much for them to figure out. But I have found that my students learn to read simply by giving them intense one-on-one instruction, holding them accountable to reading the print as it actually appears on the page, and making it fun by playing games to teach the ‘reading rules.’ I begin teaching 'Reading Closed Syllables' first. Closed Syllables make up about 50% of the English language. So if students master reading closed syllables, they have a great foundation upon which to begin reading. Typically, after about six months, they begin to enter the zone of reading, and when they do, it is so thrilling to see their awareness of a whole new world opening up to them.
Describe your favorite TpT product.
My ‘Reading Syllable Types Bundle Packet’ is my favorite unit. This is a packet that I have wanted to put together for years, and when I heard about TpT, it gave me the incentive to do. This packet lays out six strategies to help students decode words. These strategies are called syllable types, and there are six of them. Learning each strategy/syllable type is a matter of the student looking around the vowel/vowels in a word to see what consonants are beside the vowel. Once they learn that certain consonants around a vowel give a particular clue to that vowel’s sound, they are on their way to reading. Through the process, they discover that reading is really simple, and it is a matter of them working to ‘break the code’ to reading. This packet lays out these six strategies in the most simplistic, systematic way giving a plethora of concrete examples.
Link to TpT Product
What advice would you give to someone who may want to become a seller at Teachers Pay Teachers?
Don’t hesitate to get started! At first it seems so overwhelming to know what to do, but take that plunge and do it one step at a time, and eventually you will prove it to yourself that you can do it. It’s just a matter of you turning your great ideas into useful materials. If you have found an idea to be successful in your teaching, then other most likely will also. Just begin sharing!
What have you done or hope to do with your TpT earnings?
I would like to have the opportunity to get financially fit and to give more to others.
What do you like best about being a member of The Best of Teacher?
Since I personally don’t manage a blog, I like having a place to which I can post and advertise my materials. It’s such a great opportunity Vicky has created for usJ
Link to Your TpT Store