Mission Makers: Cynthia—making a difference through her work

Mission Makers: Cynthia—making a difference through her work

Cynthia, a certified BC teacher at a specialized school for children with learning differences, has spent the last three years as a part-time Remedial Instructor with LDS. She feels that LDS is a further extension of her work in schools and a way to fill the gaps in educational support that may be unavailable in the school system.

Teaching at LDS “is a way of doing what I love doing, but in a different capacity,” says Cynthia. Providing one-on-one remedial instruction is a very different dynamic to her work as a teacher with a classroom full of students. But it brings her a sense of pride when she’s able to use what she has learned from her past teaching opportunities to provide accessible individualized education for students.

Cynthia has always enjoyed learning about how different minds work, including those with learning differences, which is why she pursued a BA in Psychology. Although Cynthia was unsure of what she wanted to do with her Psychology degree, with exploration and curiosity, she applied for her teaching diploma.

Cynthia chose to study Education for her teaching degree and experienced a range of different teaching styles and environments. She again explored various teaching experiences such as teaching at Montessori schools and in an English as a Second Language program.

Cynthia found her current career path with students with learning differences upon returning to Canada after teaching abroad. She had worked with students with autism in the past and remembered the feeling of making a difference through her work and the pride of accomplishment the students experienced with her help. So, when applying for jobs, she applied to the specialized school where she now teaches children with learning differences.

“It’s fun, always changing, allows me to be creative, and is challenging,” says Cynthia about why she enjoys teaching. “I like working with children and learning about what they’re interested in, and deep down inside, I think it keeps me young.”

For Cynthia, it’s essential that every student has the opportunity to learn in a way that best suits their needs, and LDS can provide a space for this. Connecting with her students is important to Cynthia. With the age group she teaches at LDS, they are old enough to be socially aware and have critical thoughts, which can lead to interesting conversations.

Using her knowledge about what her students are interested in and what they find relatable, Cynthia curates her sessions around these topics to keep her students engaged. She has found this creates an environment where students want to attend their sessions and are willing to learn. Receiving feedback from her students’ parents about the changes they see in their children, such as volunteering to read at home or seeing their confidence grow, encourages Cynthia to continue instructing.

“Growth is slow, but when it does change, it carries on to all other aspects of their life, which is exciting.”

—Rie 

_________________ 

Rie Stadnichuk (she/her) is the  Communications & Fundraising Assistant at LDS. Currently studying Communications and Economics at Simon Fraser University, she hopes to use this opportunity as a way of exploring meaningful work in the field. She is passionate about social issues and creating environments of inclusivity and open dialogue. Rie graciously lives and works on the unceded territory of the Syilx people. 

Mission Makers: Kaleigh—providing play-based and arts-informed teaching

Mission Makers: Kaleigh—providing play-based and arts-informed teaching

At LDS, we value the varied backgrounds and passions that our instructors use to relate to our students or further enhance their instruction. In the case of Remedial Instructor Kaleigh, her background is in the arts, she has a teaching degree, and she is pursuing an acting career. Her many pursuits add value to her work at LDS because they provide her with a vast knowledge of teaching styles to help her relate to our students.

Kaleigh has a Fine Arts degree in Theatre and a minor in Psychology. For Kaleigh, psychology shed light on how or why a person expresses themselves in a certain way, and drama was one of those ways, so her major and minor went hand in hand. This unique education allows her to be a very empathetic teacher when providing one-to-one instruction. Kaleigh is quick to notice when her students require a brain break or different teaching forms, such as visual or auditory. And as all fun drama teachers do, Kaleigh engages her students in games and takes a play-based teaching approach.

“It’s more important now more than ever to think outside the box,” says Kaleigh about her experience as a teacher. Kaleigh’s arts background has taught her to be adaptive and think quickly to take on whatever may be occurring in the classroom. She also emphasizes how she is a visual learner who grasps concepts best through examples and play, informing her teaching style, especially when academics are challenging for diverse learners. At LDS, there are learning outcomes to be met, and Kaleigh’s knowledge and skill set allow her to adaptively teach in an engaging way so that each student can meet those outcomes.

Kaleigh has always enjoyed the arts and music but was not introduced to drama until high school, where she took it as an elective. She enjoyed studying the arts in higher education because of the supportive community that thrives in this field. Participating in theatre requires social skills and communication and is a breeding ground for collaboration. “Whereas other areas of academics are about answering questions correctly,” says Kaleigh, “the arts are more about the process and how a student approaches the problem.”

One of Kaleigh’s favourite things about her job with LDS is that she can help her students grow and watch the “light bulbs turn on in their heads!” while she works in the arts in her spare time. Kaleigh believes all children can benefit from being involved in the arts and that art helps kids learn self-regulation and social skills while still having fun. Kaleigh also advocates for media representation and creating space and accessibility within the arts for those with different abilities. One day, she hopes to develop a program to bring the arts to children with learning differences.

—Rie 

_________________ 

Rie Stadnichuk (she/her) is the Digital Communications Specialist at LDS. Currently studying Communications and Economics at Simon Fraser University, she hopes to use this opportunity as a way of exploring meaningful work in the field. She is passionate about social issues and creating environments of inclusivity and open dialogue. Rie graciously lives and works on the unceded territory of the Syilx people. 

RISE one-to-one instruction is now open for applications!

RISE one-to-one instruction is now open for applications!

Our in-person and online RISE one-to-one instruction program is now open for applications!

Steps to Apply:  

Step 1: Read this blog

Step 2: Review all program details for in-person instruction or online instruction.

Step 3: If you still have questions after reading about our program, please contact our team at info@ldsociety.ca  

Step 4: Apply! Fill out the application form.

About our RISE program

In our Research-informed Individualized Student Education (RISE) program, students work one-to-one with a qualified instructor on ongoing, remedial support, explicit instruction, tutoring and homework support.  

The goal of this program is to improve student independence, confidence, and academic success.  

When do RISE sessions start?

Our 2021 academic year begins on September 13th and we aim to start our students then. Due to the high volume of applications we receive, we will not be able to start every student on September 13th, but placements will continue throughout the semester. Sessions are generally 50 minutes long and are offered Monday to Friday between 9:00 am and 7:00 pm and Saturdays between 9:00 am and 5:00 pm. Most students attend 2 sessions a week. 

Where are RISE sessions held? 

RISE one-to-one instruction is offered in-person at our East Vancouver Learning Centre and our North Vancouver location 

Not able to make it to one of our Learning Centres? No problem! 

Our RISE at Home program offers the same quality one-to-one instruction we offer in-person and delivers it virtually to your home via our dynamic, interactive online platform. Learn more about RISE at Home and how to get support no matter where you’re located in BC. Parents and guardians, please apply for one-to-one support through our online application form and select “RISE at Home BC” under program location.  

How much does it cost?

We operate on a sliding scale fee model to ensure our services are accessible to all families. We can discuss detailed fees and bursary support options during your intake interview. If your net household income (the amount you receive after taxes and deductions) is below $90,000 you are eligible for bursary support, so please indicate this where relevant in your application.  

How does the application process work?

Once you have filled out the application form, you will be added to our scheduling and invoicing platform TutorCruncher to begin our intake process (watch for a welcome email from TutorCruncher). We will reach out via the contact information you provide us to set up a time for an Intake and Assessment appointment. At this appointment, the LDS team will get to know you and your child better, gather information to understand your child’s learning needs and begin the process of matching them with an instructor. 

We look forward to reviewing your application! 

Early RISErs for 3-5 yr olds: applications open now!Learn more!