Erives thrives when providing that one-on-one, differentiated approach

11/16/2013

Editor's note:This is the third in a series of profiles of the six finalists for this year's Crystal Apple Teacher Recognition Program.

Editor's note:This is the third in a series of profiles of the six finalists for this year's Crystal Apple Teacher Recognition Program.

By ANGIE HAFLICH

ahaflich@gctelegram.com

Interventionists have a unique perspective into their students' lives.

Unlike classroom teachers, they generally work with students throughout several grade levels and are better able to focus their attention on each child.

RoseMary Erives, reading interventionist at Buffalo Jones Elementary School, said that in some cases, she will work with the same students throughout their elementary career. She said that, along with having more one-on-one interaction with the children, makes her job gratifying.

Erives is one of the finalists for this year's Crystal Apple Teacher Recognition Program. She described being chosen as a thrill.

"For me, it's just an honor to be among all the other educators they have chosen," she said. "After all these years of teaching, it isn't necessarily that a person needs that award or needs that recognition, but it's nice to have that and all the teachers in this building deserve it. I think I represent just a little tiny piece or part of this whole building."

Erives has been teaching for 15 years, eight of which were spent as a third-grade teacher at Buffalo Jones.

"So I had been doing that for a long time, and when I started doing this, I could see that I was more focused on each individual child," Erives said. "We do differentiate a lot for the kids, and that's so important for them I think, to get that at this age, because otherwise they could fall through the cracks."

On Wednesday, Erives was helping three first-graders on their reading during their daily 30-minute session. Erives conducts 30-minute sessions for each grade level throughout the day, every day of the week.

"This one is a reading interventionist group so we do intervention with students who are struggling with their reading skills, specifically their phonics skills," she said.

Erives went over the short vowel u with them, asking them to sound words such as bus, bug, hug and sun.

"We do lots of hands on, lots of stretching and sounding out the sounds and words and blending," she said. "And then at the end they do an oral reading passage to use those same target words in the actual reading passage."

Once the student grasps the concept, he or she transitions out of the intervention sessions.

Erives has a master's degree as a reading specialist, and said she pursued post secondary education after realizing the unique needs of her intervention students.

"When I first started as a reading interventionist and I saw the need for that, I thought, 'Well, I need to up my skills, I need to do a better job of teaching reading,' and not only was I teaching reading to the kids, but I was also a mentor teacher so I needed to teach that new teacher how to teach reading in her classroom," she said.

Erives has a motherly demeanor when working with her students, calling them 'honey,' every so often, as she either encourages or corrects them during lessons.

She said two things bring her the most gratification: seeing a student's progress and working with the staff at Buffalo Jones.

"I would say if I had to choose, it's watching the children learn and grow and to have a love for learning. Oh my gosh, to see them reading for their own enjoyment, their own pleasure, that's just an awesome thing for me to see," she said.

The other five finalists for this year's Crystal Apple award are Karen Kyler, Garfield Early Childhood School; Alexander Koning, Kenneth Henderson Middle School; Summer Miller, Garden City High School, Kenneth Henderson Middle School and Horace Good Middle School; Tamillia Moore, Edith Scheuerman Elementary School; and Tammy Ueke, Victor Ornelas Elementary School.

The award is given annually to top educators in Finney County. The CARE (Community Awareness and Recognition in Education) Task Force of the Garden City Area Chamber of Commerce revealed the 2013 finalists in October.

The top three finalists will be announced during a banquet Thursday at the Clarion Inn, 1911 E. Kansas Ave., and will receive an engraved crystal apple, $1,000 cash award and other prizes. The other three finalists will receive a cash award of $250.

For more information, call Myca Bunch at the Chamber at 276-3264, or email mbunch@gcnet.com.

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