Leah F

Saratoga Springs, NY

Reading Can Be Fun!



I currently hold four New York State teaching certifications: Literacy Specialist (Birth-Grade 6 and Grades 5-12), Early Childhood Education and Childhood Education.
During the 2016-2017 school year I worked in Schenectady High School as a reading teacher from September until the end of December 2016 and began working as a temporary reading teacher in the Amsterdam CSD in a split position; teaching primarily pull-out groups for 3rd, 4th and 5th grade at R.J. McNulty Academy for International Studies and Literacy Magnetic School in the morning and then in Wilber H. Lynch Literacy Academy. While at Wilber H. Lynch Literacy I worked mostly with 8th grade and taught a 6th grade self-contained classroom. The opportunities I’ve been given to teach in Schenectady and Amsterdam have broadened my views of the endless ways. I aspire to be a teacher who truly teaches to the child based on what is inside him/her: emotionally, intellectually and sometimes even physically (ie. there were times students had not eaten that day or were exposed to abuse). The levels of stress my students were exposed to went beyond what I could control in the four walls of my classroom, but they always knew they had a safe place to come: a place to share, laugh and learn. Students who refused to attend other classes were showing up for my class in Schenectady. The quote from Mother Teresa rang more true to me in the walls of these places: “Being unwanted, unloved, uncared for, forgotten by everybody, I think that is a much greater hunger, a much greater poverty than the person who has nothing to eat.” Aside from this, I grew professionally by learning about STAR data, READ 180, APPR, numerous other teaching sources, and how to be creative with minimal supplies.
During the 2015-2016 school year, I worked in the Hudson Valley Region of New York at Netherwood Elementary School as a reading teacher in Hyde Park. While there, I worked with 3rd graders in pull-out guided reading groups, push-in writing groups, co-taught 5th grade reading and worked one-on-one with Kindergarteners to develop reading and writing stamina. My time in Hyde Park was beyond beneficial because I learned about the Fountas and Pinnell’s Leveled Literacy Intervention, forms of progress monitoring, and attended almost every professional development opportunity I could get my hands on.
Prior to working in Hyde Park, I practiced the art of teaching by substitute teaching for nearly seven years while working on my Masters Degree and working in other work environments. During this time, I also worked as a literacy tutor of students of various ages and needs, including adults with Down Syndrome. After I completed my B.A., I embarked on an expedition to Kenya where I taught and built a library for a primitive school. I still stay in contact with people from there. In fact, the two 3rd grade classes in Hyde Park now have pen pals in Kenya because of the connections that were made through my experience there. 2013 brought me to Oklahoma when I went on a solo journey to the demolished towns of Moore and Shawnee from Category Five tornadoes. I packed my car with toys and books to disperse to children and families who were left with nothing but tents to live in. While there, I set up a library again. I suppose it became my trademark: Don’t leave a place of refuge unless a library is left behind.
I have teaching experiences that have likely been more eclectic than I ever planned to experience, looking more like a patch quilt than a fancy bedspread, but they have brought a wave of perspective to me as a teacher and it flows onto my students.


M.S. Literacy Specialist

Subjects of Expertise

SAT Reading, ACT Reading, Writing, Reading, Grammar, Vocabulary, Elementary Reading (K-6th), Elementary Writing (K-6th)

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