Kathleen Melde is, as she described herself, “an undiagnosed dyslexic.” Therefore, when her two daughters started struggling in school, she knew she needed support from a tutoring company with the sophisticated expertise to teach reading. What started as an effort to find help for her daughters led to a career with that tutoring company, Aspire Academy, just outside Des Moines, Iowa. A certified Wilson Dyslexia Practitioner, Kathleen brings her personal belief everyday to her work: “I don’t want any kid or parent to go through” what her family did before finding Aspire Academy. And when schools closed to du COVID-19, it was critical that she find an online tutoring solution for her company.
Aspire Academy serves students struggling with dyslexia and dyscalculia, helps parents with advocacy, and offers teachers professional development. The company’s personal teaching philosophy is to support the student emotionally as well as academically. For Aspire, using Trilogy Mentor’s all-in-one software solution has allowed Kathleen and her team to continue meeting with students online and maintaining important emotional connections. Kathleen uses the video function to spend the first minutes just checking her students’ health and well-being. To ensure that her students do not lose ground learning a multisensory approach to reading, she uses Trilogy’s screen share function which allows her to integrate several Wilson program tools into Trilogy’s online classroom, making these tools “very handy.”
Kathleen also uses the Trilogy Mentors platform to refine her teaching practice and work towards higher levels of certification in the Wilson Reading System. She states, “I love that the sessions are recorded.” Kathleen reviews her instructional sessions, using assessment guides from Wilson to critique herself. These recordings allow her to improve her teaching and to prepare for the certification assessments she will take in the future. The scheduling function is a tremendous help as well. With schools and businesses closed, parents working at home want their children to have structure, so the reminders and scheduling function help students meet regularly for sessions and allow Kathleen to manage the increased demand for online tutoring sessions.
For one of Kathleen’s students, meeting during the COVID-19 shutdown is essential for his future. This 6th grader has many risk factors for long term problems in school, and as she says, “I’m the only one he will work with. What would happen to him if we couldn’t meet?” Fortunately for this child and his grandmother, the Trilogy Mentors platform supports the relationship he and Kathleen have formed. They work on reading and goal setting, and amidst this disruptive era of COVID-19, this young student accomplished his first goal, to complete Book 1 of the Wilson reading program. Now, he’s onto Book 2, with Kathleen and the entire team at Trilogy Mentors cheering him along the way.