Sunrise Children’s Center hosted their 4th Annual Trunk or Treat event recently. Many of the center’s families came to the Sunrise with their cars decorated for the event so that the children could trick-or-treat from car to car. Children were dressed in costume and had such fun gathering treats from all of the cars decorated with pumpkins, lights and spooky spiders! It was a fun evening for children and adults alike.
Sunrise Children’s Center recently honored Ms. Pat Cote for her many years of service as a substitute teacher. Ms. Pat resides in Amherst and a friend suggested to her many years ago that perhaps she would like to work a few hours a week at the childcare center. That was back in 1995, and she continued her service to Sunrise for the next 28 years.
Ms. Pat was always a well-loved addition to any classroom. She usually brought a purple bag of little toys to entertain the children when she came to the classroom—small wind-up toys, little seasonal toys, or small trinkets that she had collected throughout the years. The children would gather around her and wait to see what was in the bag!
At the celebration in her honor, Ms. Pat was presented with a large purple bag filled with gifts and a book written and illustrated by the children and staff of Sunrise—The Alphabet of Ms. Pat. Each letter said something special about Ms. Pat. The letter Q said it the best; As one child wrote, “Q is for Ms. Pat – she is the Queen of all of us.” And indeed she is—she will be missed for her never-ending smile and wonderful sense of humor.
Parents, teachers, and students experience what it’s like to learn differently than others
The RSEC Academy’s PALD (Positive Approach to Learning Disabilities) team visited neighboring Bedford High School on Friday, October 6 to share what it feels like to learn differently than other students.
The workshop, which is offered free of charge to student and education groups, featured RSEC students Hayden, Heather, Isaiah and James, RSEC transition coordinator Alison Batey, and RSEC teacher/coach Bridgette Howell. They presented a series of activities that replicate the experience of having learning disabilities, engaged the audience in a question-and-answer session, and shared what it feels like to be on the receiving end of uninformed and hurtful assumptions about learning disabilities.
“Perhaps the greatest connection occurs when students field questions from the audience and get to share their own experiences,” Howell said. “They begin to understand how deeply it scars when an adult calls you stupid; how the pressure mounts when signing in or out of school and you can’t convert the time on the clock to digital notation; how much you want to learn; how hard you struggle; or how much extra time your homework takes-and still someone calls you lazy.”
Presented with a healthy dose of humor and an open and honest exchange, the PALD team took the audience through different scenarios that help illustrate some of the challenges students with learning disabilities face, such as:
- Singing “the Itsy-Bitsy Spider” in front of peers to simulate what it feels like to read aloud when you are not a confident reader;
- Describing a favorite movie without using words that contain the letter “T” to force the speaker to retrieve just the right words but at a much slower pace; and
- Good-spirited comments from RSEC student presenters urging participants to “speed it up,” and to “speak in complete sentences” to replicate how constructive feedback can feel like anything but.
“When paired with a judgement-free environment, additional activities, funny comments and different perspectives open windows into other learning differences, and our feelings about them,” Howell said. “We do this workshop every year to help educators connect with students at different stages and new ways of reaching them.”
Kudos to Ms. Howell and the PALD team for explaining some of the issues that many of our students experience and overcome on a daily basis. We’re so proud of their commitment to inform the community and share their successes with others.
While the Bedford High School presentation was adapted for its district-wide professional development session, The RSEC Academy PALD team can adapt their 60-to-90-minute presentation for content, time, and audiences of all sizes. It is offered at no charge.
If you’re looking for a powerful presentation for in-service days or parent meetings and would like to request the Positive Approach to Learning Disabilities workshop for your organization, contact Bridgette Howell at 603-673-6656 or email@example.com.
At the September 29 New Hampshire Speech, Language, and Hearing Association (NHSLA) Conference Workshop, Mrs. Amy Clark Canty presented a workshop entitled “Engaging the Mind: Active Reading Comprehension Strategies for Middle and High School Students.”
Mrs. Amy Clark Canty, the reading and writing specialist for The RSEC Academy, shared her work on improving comprehension skills at the fall conference for the NHSLA at the Holiday Inn in Concord, New Hampshire. She provided a comprehensive overview and demonstration of Active Reading Comprehension Strategies, which are research-based strategies that assist all readers with comprehension of print and non-print texts.
“My goal was for everyone to walk away with practical, ready to use procedures designed to assist students in developing, and independently using, metalinguistic skills to connect personal experience and prior knowledge to written text,” Mrs. Clark Canty said. “All students learn differently, so the more approaches and strategies we have to help them, the more successful they will be.”
Using Active Reading helps improve reading comprehension skills for all levels of readers, including students with learning disabilities. Educators and academic specialists learned the basic strategies required to implement Active Reading in therapy or in the classroom, and gained an understanding for assisting students in personalizing their application of Active Reading to complete assignments, define specific strategies, and apply them.
Mrs. Clark Canty, along with all staff members at The RSEC Academy, use a personalized combination of teaching techniques, experiential learning, and meeting students where they are to help each student find his or her own path to academic and personal success.
Learn more about how RSEC staff create challenging and supportive learning environments for students at all stages by helping teachers across the state.
Middle and High School Substitute Teacher at RSEC
Start Date: As needed
Description: The RSEC Academy High School and The RSEC Academy Middle School are seeking a substitute teacher for middle and high school programs.
To Apply: Email a resume, cover letter and three letters of reference to Janet Reed at firstname.lastname@example.org
High School Substitute Teacher Position at Longview
Located at: Longview School
Description: Longview School is seeking a substitute teacher for grades 9-12, serving students with behavioral/emotional challenges.
To Apply: Email resume, cover letter and three letters of reference to Tom Jennings at email@example.com