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Ruthanne Urquhart

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Curriculum vitae. Ottawa Sun (left), The Maple Leaf, Canadian Vocational Journal, The Maple Leaf.

Teaching garners great satisfaction

My first volunteer teaching experience at Oakley Park Public School in Barrie, Ont., involved working with seven Grade 1 children who were having difficulty beginning to read. They had documented learning disabilities and/or attention deficits and/or no exposure to books or reading as preschoolers. I used whichever teaching technique (phonics, "word blocks", etc.) best suited each child. By the end of the school year, most were reading at junior kindergarten level or higher.

My second experience at the same elementary school involved teaching English to three Grade 6 students (two Vietnamese and one Dutch) and a Dutch Grade 4 student. I adopted English immersion-style techniques, but occasionally relied on our common language, French, when we ran into problems. By the end of the school year, all four were communicating comfortably in English.

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