I saw many of my colleagues searching for the least expensive, least time-consuming way to earn their required 24 credits for Instructional II certification, but I knew that I wanted a quality program that would help me become a more effective teacher. I knew that I could find that at Geneva College. I chose the reading program for several reasons: I love to read; reading is a foundational skill for all other learning; and many of my special education students struggle in reading. This degree provided both learning that was applicable to my current position and the opportunity to change positions with a new certification area.
One of the best features of an education at Geneva is that students are challenged to examine their beliefs and where those beliefs originate. I experienced this as an undergrad in relationship to my faith and theological beliefs. This questioning of my assumptions led me to study and ultimately strengthened my faith. As a graduate student, I was challenged to examine my assumptions about education and current practice. I now have a firm philosophy of the nature of teaching and learning.
Though I am still a special education teacher, this year I am participating in a pilot program where I am co-teaching fourth grade language arts. Having completed the reading specialist program, I feel prepared and confident to address the differing needs of my students. I am also participating in a leadership group at PA Cyber for the next two years and will have the opportunity to influence school-wide decisions about the implementation of new programs, teaching structures and student achievement initiatives.
Lindsay (Adams) Gardner graduated from Geneva College in January 2004 with a B.S. Ed. in elementary and secondary education. After working briefly as a substitute teacher, she began working as a special education teacher at PA Cyber School in June ′04.