An 11-year veteran with APS, Ms. Samuel teaches reading here at Swanson. Ms. Samuel also served as a Reading Specialist at Randolph Elementary School.
Ms. Samuel originally attended college to study nursing and later changed her major to teaching so that she could teach reading. “I started working in education when I was 18 years old helping adults learn to read. I had attended Orton-Gillingham Academy as a middle school student, and it changed my life. In the academy I developed some great strategies which I used to help others learn during my volunteer work at my church and in the community.
The greatest joy of Ms. Samuel’s job is helping others to learn and appreciate reading and writing. In her words, “The ability to communicate and better understand others is a gift offers a lifetime of literacy. The biggest challenges are often time and resources, in that often there is not enough time allotted to help people learn to read and write. Many people learn to read at various times in their life and that may extend well into adulthood. Because people unlock reading in different ways, resources may not always be available which delays the progress you might make if you were given unlimited time and a variety of different resources.”
When asked about a memorable moment with a student that made her career, Ms. Samuel responded, “My most memorable experience thus far is when a former adult student who I taught to read went on to graduate from school, attend college, and receive her doctoral degree. She is currently teaching and working with adults who are also learning to read. She is continuing the work of helping others learn to read and write to promote lifelong learning.”
Ms. Samuel loves to travel. “I traveled for more than 10 years teaching young adults and professionals in Japan, Korea, and Thailand. Travel really helped to shape my professional understanding of how learning and language are essential to building understandings. My favorite group was a group of Toyota engineers in Tokyo who were so much fun and very outgoing. They embodied the team learning approach which helped me better hone my skills in cooperative learning. My greatest achievement was spending a semester in Beijing, China learning about Chinese history and calligraphy through a program at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.”
Ms. Samuel is currently reading Lady Clementine by Marie Benedict.