“All students can be successful!”
One of the key ingredients to being a successful educator is flexibility. No two students learn in exactly the same way and it is the teacher’s responsibility to ensure they understand the curriculum. A successful teacher knows how to adapt to the ever-changing needs of students.
Samantha is a prime example of a successful educator. In just six months, Samantha has already tutored students for Home Instruction and both the Autism Scholarship and Jon Peterson Special Needs Scholarship. And her students could not be more different. “I like that I am challenged to switch roles with working with a young student (kindergarten),” said Samantha, “and switching gears to meet the needs of my high school clients and those in between.”
A licensed intervention specialist, Samantha graduated from Kent State with a bachelors in Speech Pathology and a masters in Special Education. She told us that she was drawn to tutoring because it provided her more flexibility.
“As a classroom teacher,” she said, “I felt limited in my interventions because of the various directions you can get pulled in. As a tutor, I am more successful because I have one-on-one time with the student.”
An added benefit to tutoring is the ability to personalize the learning experience. Samantha has many passions and hobbies — including cooking, crafting, reading, photography, hula hooping, and taking care of her pets. She also enjoys sports and was able to incorporate that into an assignment:
“One client I work with is a major sports fan. He, of course, is a Brown’s fan and I am a Steelers’ fan. In a friendly competition, my client wagered a bet based on the winner of the rival game. Lucky for me, I now have a client-developed creative writing story on how the Steelers team saved the world…written by a Browns fan!”
In 2015, Samantha became certified to teach our Richards Learning Systems® and Real Life Ma+h programs. In addition to those subjects, she also tutors students in world history, environmental science, nutrition, and criminal justice. (Growing up, her favorite subjects were writing and math.)
One of Samantha’s strengths is her understanding of students with learning differences. She worked at Camp Cheerful’s Sensational Camp and also at a private clinic for individuals with Autism and other disabilities. “Many students had limited communication and behavioral regulation skills,” recalled Samantha, quickly adding that “All students can be successful!”
It is clear that no two days are the same for Samantha. And that is just the way she likes it. “I have a set of clients with very different strengths, weaknesses, life stories and goals,” she said. “Each of them is able to bring a unique piece of themselves to share.”
Samantha is supported by her devoted family — grandparents, parents, aunts, cousins, brothers and her boyfriend. They have influenced her education, hobbies, and career. “I am so grateful for all of them — they encourage me to do what I am passionate about and share that with my students.”