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  • Writer's pictureAntoinette Barbosa

Who I am? My Journey So Far.

I’ve been contemplating starting a “real” blog for a long time and finally think I am ready, but am still not 100 percent sure. I’m not comfortable putting myself out there on any level and I can assure you, I’m not an expert of any kind. I am just a wife, teacher, and best of all a mother of three crazy, lovable kids, with a passion for helping others.

I’ve decided to start blogging, if that’s what you’d call it, to share what I have learned, tried, succeeded, and failed at on my personal journey.

Before we jump in, let me start by telling you why I became a special education and reading teacher. My parents migrated to the United States when they were young teenagers and headed directly into the workforce. My mother was just 16 years old at the time! Because of their history and strong work ethic, my parents instilled the importance of being educated for as long as I can remember. They never wanted my brother and me to struggle as they did, and hoped the best for our futures.

Flashback to the summer before 3rd grade and my family was moving us to upstate New York from Brooklyn. I was nervously excited to start my new school, but my enthusiasm was quickly halted after I was placed in the lowest reading group and sent to reading lab. I was a struggling reader at the time and hated that I felt “stupid”, and inferior. I never raised my hand to answer questions in class and avoided reading out loud at all costs. Because of my stunted confidence, I never even spoke up during the times I should have, which I now deeply regret. I would get stomachaches in the morning because I hated going to school and was anxious at the thought. It wasn’t until 6th grade that I started to feel there was a possibility that I wasn’t as “stupid” as I had previously thought. This revelation is credited to my 6th grade teacher, who helped me start to build my confidence at an early age. From that point on, I knew I wanted to help other young students and ensure that they never had to feel the way that I did in those tough moments.

Fast forward to now and I proudly work as a special education reading specialist. When I started on this journey, many of my students used my services for more than just one year. It was increasingly frustrating to feel as though my students were not progressing with their reading skills and it felt like everything I tried wasn’t working. At this time, I began to learn more about dyslexia and was introduced to Orton-Gillingham (OG), a structured literacy approach. About six years ago, I decided I was going to be trained in Orton-Gillingham practices and wanted to see what this type of teaching was all about. What is the worst that could happen? Well come to find out, OG was an absolute game changer in the way I approached teaching. Those students who weren’t progressing in the past were now making great progress and I was totally hooked on multisensory instruction, which is the combination of listening, speaking, reading, and kinesthetic activities. This science of reading method really worked for my students! I abandoned the cuing system and adopted structured literacy, and truly dove all in with understanding and utilizing the science of reading.

After being totally engrossed in the science of reading, I realized I wanted to help improve the reading abilities of as many students as I could. I found a passion for increasing students’ educational outcomes on a larger scale and started Reading Results Tutoring in 2017 as a result. It is my hope that I will continue to find new opportunities and grow as a better teacher, while helping other educators and students throughout their journey.

3rd grade me (cuts on my face from bike crash)

6th grade me (don't ask about the hair and definitely not about the background lasers)

Me now


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