Rya’s Resource Room Rundown #1
Who is Canyon’s Resource Specialist?
You’ve probably seen my face around Canyon but are not quite sure who I am. I hope this blog helps you learn all about me and what I do here at Canyon! My name is Rya Levin and this is my 5th year at Canyon and my 9th year as a teacher.
I’m originally from New York where I got my dual Master’s Degree in General Education and Special Education from NYU. I taught for a year in NY and then wanted a change so I moved down the coast to Washington, D.C. I taught for three years in the Montgomery County Public Schools in Maryland which is one of the top districts in the United States. While there, I pursued a Graduate Certificate at Johns Hopkins University in Autism and other developmental disorders. After three years living in D.C., I was ready to go back to NY to be closer to friends and family.
Then, the unexpected happened in 2012 when I reconnected with an old family friend who had just moved to California. We began dating long distance which just wasn’t sustainable for me. A few months later, my dog Sophie and I moved out to Los Angeles to be closer to him. Marc and I are now planning our June 2017 wedding.
Recently, I have completed my certification in Educational Therapy at UC Riverside for which I have started a private practice helping students in a myriad of ways outside of the school setting.
What is Resource Room?
Resource Room is a location and a service. I have a small classroom (room 19) right across from the library near the back gate. I always tell the kids I am the luckiest teacher at Canyon because I get to be a part of every classroom!
Resource support is also a service. In order to receive resource room as an official service, a student needs to qualify for an IEP (Individualized Education Plan). All students that are identified as having a disability (health impairment, Autism, ADHD, learning disability, among others) can receive an IEP which entitles them to services to help meet their needs and ensure they have access to the general education curriculum. These are the students that I work with either in my classroom or as a “push-in” service where I provide the support services in their classroom.
I also have the pleasure of helping teachers differentiate their teaching by working informally with students in all classrooms who need a bit of help which either just for that day, week, or long term depending on the needs. This process is called “response to intervention” which is a 3-tier system. We provide support to students who need a Tier 1 level of support when a disability is not suspected but the child might be having a hard time with one specific area or concept.
Being able to work with students year after year is so powerful in building relationships and ensuring that supports are in place over the student’s entire educational career. My most important job of course is getting that “aha moment” out of all my students. My absolute favorite thing to hear out of a child’s mouth is “Ohhhh, now I get it!”.
Besides being the only special education teacher at Canyon, I have many other roles at Canyon. I am a resource for teachers to collaborate with to brainstorm strategies to help any student that is having a bit of difficulty academically or behaviorally. I am the coordinator of the Student Success and Progress Team (SSPT). This is the forum for which we meet with teacher, parents, and any other necessary staff member (Speech Pathologist, School Psychologist) to address any significant concerns raised by teacher or parents. The meeting often results in strategies to help the teacher or parents meet the child’s academic or behavior needs. I am the chair of the Behavior Committee for Governing Council as well.
My goal for this blog is to share information regarding children with learning challenges including ADHD, learning disabilities, Autism, behavior struggles, etc. and the strategies we can use as teachers and parents or caregivers to support them. Please let me know if you have a topic that you’d like to know more about.