Hello! My name is Tara Jones. I am a Special Education Teacher from Owensboro, KY. I currently teach at the elementary level focusing on grades K-2. Much of my teaching experience and background began with my own personal experience, but I will focus on my educational background for this website. I earned my first degree from Eastern Kentucky University in Deaf Studies, but never used it in subsequent jobs. When I began working in the school system as a paraprofessional, I started to see that I could offer more but I would have to go back to school. The Director of Special Education gave me the push I needed and I started my masters a couple months later in June 2016 at Campbellsville University.
In 2016, I accepted a position at Daviess County Public Schools working as an itinerant Teacher of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing and Learning and Behavior Disorders teacher. Since the itinerant TDHH position required an emergency certificate, I could not continue the next year until after I completed KTIP and was enrolled in a DHH certification program. I stayed in the district the following year, but as a full LBD teacher completing KTIP. At the end of the year I earned my full professional LBD teaching license and began the process of enrolling in a DHH program at EKU. My hope was to enroll prior to the next school year and enter into a TDHH position in Daviess County Public Schools. Unfortunately, in order for me to teach with a DHH certification I would have to complete the program within a year and time was not on my side. I applied for several positions and accepted one as a K-2 LBD teacher while I work on my DHH certification online at EKU. By the time I am finished, I will be finished with the DHH program by December 2019 and hold two teaching certifications.
This year is my third year teaching, but it still feels like my first. I have met a new group of kiddos who need different things to be successful in school. Every school I have worked at is different and every child I work with is different. As a teacher, I have learned to never assume what works for one student with autism will work for another student with autism. I utilize several strategies, instructional approaches, technologies, communication modes, and more in my classroom.
Strategies & Instructional Approaches:
Orton-Gillingham: Incorporating multi-sensory activities into your classroom can have a profound impact on learning.
Direct Instruction: Need a refresher on what true Direct Instruction is? Start here:
Explicit Instruction: Visit this site to see how learning vocabulary needs both explicit and implicit instruction for students to really LEARN.
Visuals and Prompts: Explore how significant the impact visuals can have on your classroom!
Visual Phonics: See the Sound is a great tool to use with students who are deaf or hard of hearing in building foundational phonic skills.
Lindamood-Bell: Watch this video and see the LiPs in action!
EPIC: Provides a variety of books with varying levels and interests and accompanied activities and quizzes
ClassDojo: Use this as a tool for classroom management by awarding points to students for meeting behavior expectations and communicating with parents
Edmark: Explore this online reading program and see if it is right for your students! The link below takes you to the paper version of the program.
Positive Notes home
"The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt with the heart." - Helen Keller
Please enjoy exploring my page for resources I have used and gathered over the years!