This special section of our news is about our Title I Department. Mr. Michael Blackford, who teaches Title I Reading, and Mrs. Teresa Coose, who teaches Title I Math, are two employees who devote their time to help those students who may be struggling. Many times students just need a little extra push and attention to help them succeed. Using creative learning techniques geared toward each student, this department gives the extra attention that is needed in order to get back on track. Below is a take on this area from Mr. Blackford and Mrs. Coose.
By: Michael Blackford
I have had a passion for reading most of my life, and that passion drove me to want to share the love of reading with my students. I already knew before I finished college that I wanted to help students learn a love for reading, which is why I stayed in school after my Bachelor’s degree to earn a Master’s degree as a Reading Specialist.
I became the Title I Reading teacher here at Lockwood my third year of teaching in the district. I had the honor of working with Nina Huser, our former Title I Reading teacher, the year before I took over the program and learned a great deal from her. For those who may not know what the Title I program is for, the teachers work with students that need a little boost to get them back on grade level in the subjects of Reading and Math. Students come to my room for an extra 30 minutes of skills practice each day.
I feel like I have found my calling in life through teaching Title I Reading. There is no greater joy than watching a student who has been struggling with a concept finally understand it. I take pride in the gains my students make daily and celebrate those gains with them. Nothing makes me happier than when a child decides to pick up a book and read on their own for enjoyment. That is when I know that I have been successful.
Through my 9 years of teaching Title I Reading, and my 11 years of teaching at Lockwood, I have seen and helped bring about many changes within the Title I program, but two things remain the same; my desire to help students be able to fluently read and comprehend anything that they may encounter, and the desire of each student to be able to do the same.
I look forward to many more years of inspiring future readers.
By: Teresa Coose
For as long as I can remember I have wanted to be a teacher. I knew that I wanted to let every child know they were important and they could learn. When I accepted the math title position, my experience as a classroom teacher in math immediately came to mind. I loved helping my students understand math. I felt I had talent when it came to helping students understand and remember those elementary math skills. I struggled with math in school and often felt inadequate and embarrassed which inevitably required me to come up with tricks, or things that helped me understand math and make math stick in my head. I wanted to apply this method of teaching to my title classroom.
This is my first year in the title math position, so I have spent a lot of time doing research, talking to other teachers, viewing webinars, and browsing the internet to come up with new ways to help students add, subtract, multiply, divide, do fractions, etc. As a math title 1 teacher I serve as a facilitator of learning, providing students with the knowledge and tools to solve problems and then encouraging them to solve them on their own. In my classroom we work in small groups so that the students receive more direct help to work on a skill that they have not yet mastered. The students spend their time engaged in activities that promote the skills necessary to be successful in math. We do games, use an abundant amount of manipulatives, say rhymes, do actions, and create movements to help us remember and learn math skills. I try to encourage students to figure out where they went wrong when they answer a problem incorrectly, and keep working at the problem until they get the correct answer, providing support and guidance. My goal is to help the students who are struggling to grasp those difficult concepts by providing an engaging activity that gets them involved and helps them to learn.
I spend a portion of my day in the regular classroom during math class. I answer questions and often provide additional individual instruction within the classroom to a small group of students who are struggling with the skill being taught that day. Students learn in different ways, and as a teacher I understand that. I strive to make learning math a pleasant experience.
I love teaching. Each and every day I have the awesome opportunity to help little humans gain knowledge and understanding of something that was unknown to them yesterday. I get to encourage them to do their best and help them to believe that they are capable of success. Along with that, comes the responsibility of respecting each student and making sure each student knows there is something about them that I truly like.