I’ve been working with kids for over twenty five years. I settle on that number (25) because it’s true and because it signals lots of experience. More than that just says you’re getting on in years. So, I like the number 25.
Born in Brooklyn New York, I started as a teacher in Australia and continued teaching for the next fourteen years at various grade levels, in New York City, New England and California.
With brief exceptions, I’ve always worked with students who had learning differences and/or difficulties with behavior.Â That certainly fits with my formal training. If you’re interested you could take a look at my formal resume here.
I don’t mean to make this a detailed description of my professional background, but for this post I’ll continue on with a little more so that those who are interested will know.
I continued to expand my education and professional horizons, becoming a teacher trainer and eventually held leadership positions in schools.
Some key moments in my life that have made huge impacts on my work with kids:
1. I met a guy named Jeff Allyn, who trained me in an Orton Gillingham-based approach to teaching kids with a dyslexic profile. He was starting a school on the Monterey Peninsula, in California, and I became his founding faculty. I was able to apprentice myself to this master teacher for over a year, instead of taking a six-week summer course. It was fantastic to be able to add an evidenced-based approach, which produced remarkable results, to my developing relationship/motivational and general teaching skills. He’s remained a good friend and colleague.
2. I fell in love and got married to someone who had two children. One of whom is dyslexic and adhd and dysgraphic. Over the years, parenting someone who struggles in such ways has done more to open my eyes and heart than most other experiences.
3. I worked and lived in North Idaho for five years. I did so for a group of schools that focused on â€œemotional growth. These were high school students experiencing lots of behavioral, emotional and family struggles. Among many other things, I saw more clearly how important it is to understand the emotional life of people who struggle in school, as well as their families.
4.Â Before moving to Bend, Oregon and opening up my private practice, I had the privilege of serving as the first non-founding director of a K-12 school for kids with learning disabilities. Having the responsibility to understand the needs of parents, boards and faculty as well as the students, became immensely important and challenging and satisfying. Equally.
OK. That’s all for now.