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In Focus: Delia Reed

Tell us about your background and how you knew you wanted to be a teacher.
While studying as an undergraduate I had always known that teaching was my niche in life. Throughout my studies, I have excelled both in the classroom as well as in my volunteer work at several elementary schools.  I am currently enrolled in my second semester of graduate school and I feel as if both my educational experiences, as well as my work experiences give me an advantage in the classroom to really get through to students. Working closely with teachers in my practicum and teachers during volunteer work, I was able to get a full picture of what it is like in an elementary school classroom, during the school along with extracurricular activities.  Not only have I been able to practice and carry out lesson plans in a classroom setting, but during my summer job as a swim instructor, I was given the opportunity to devise and carry out my own instructional swim program with children ranging from ages three to thirteen years old. I have had experience with many different types of instruction and understand the importance of adapting lessons to meet the needs of each and every student.  School is a powerful place and I am a firm believer in what Harry Wong once said: “student success in the subject matter of the class depends on how well the teacher designs lessons and checks for mastery.” I have prided myself in my academics and learning new ways to adapt lessons and curriculum to meet the needs of various students. Empowering young children and inspiring them to achieve great expectations is my ultimate goal.

What brought you to Hofstra University for graduate studies?
I chose Hofstra because it offered a dual literacy and special education program which is something I was looking for to be a more effective teacher. By getting my master’s in literacy and special education, I will be able to help support a more diverse range of students and be a more effective teacher for my students. My ultimate goal is to help all of my students reach their fullest potential and by having knowledge on special education and literacy supports I can better accommodate my students’ needs.

What are the benefits of being dually certified in Literacy and Special Education?
By getting my master’s in literacy and special education, I will be able to help support a more diverse range of students and be a more effective teacher for my students. My ultimate goal is to help all of my students reach their fullest potential and by having knowledge on special education and literacy supports, I can better accommodate my students’ needs.

How would you describe your field placements/student teaching experience?
My field placement and student teaching experiences thus far are rewarding. By student teaching and doing field observations, I am able to get the hands on experience I need to apply the strategies I am learning at Hofstra to a real classroom setting. Being able to do student teaching allows me to see how I can incorporate the lessons and theories I am learning about in a classroom setting and see how it impacts students.

How has Hofstra prepared you for the job search process post-graduation?
Hofstra’s Education programs continuously work to build skills one would need in the work field. In addition, Hofstra’s literacy program requires one to create a portfolio and present it before graduation. This portfolio experience and the portfolio can easily be integrated into any interview when searching for a job. In addition, by creating this professional portfolio and linking together the themes and theories I have studied and practiced at Hofstra, I will be able to paint a clear picture for my future employers of what skills I have acquired and what type of teaching style I have.

What advice do you have for those seeking certification in literacy and/or special education?
Go for it.  This program will open many opportunities for anyone who takes on the coursework and it will help make you a better teacher, but most importantly it will help your future students connect to your curriculum by helping you develop a strong teaching style that supports diverse learners.  The dual program at Hofstra is the best program out there; it will help you understand teaching better and help you build knowledge on supports for diverse students while gaining a better understanding of how to be a culturally responsive teacher and utilize a universal design for learning.

Delia Reed

M.S.Ed. in Literacy Studies and Special Education, ‘14
Great Neck, NY