Weekly Q and A with the Private School Lady, Mia Johnstone. This week we met with Noelle Orsini from the Kelter Center. Noelle is passionate about education and helping people. She is also amazingly beautiful. We got some great shots along with her interview. Check them out.
How and when did you start working at Kelter Center?
The summer of 2010 I packed up my car and my dog, Kingsley and I drove from New Jersey to California. By the end of the summer I decided that I wanted to stay on the West Coast. Prior to making this decision to stay in CA, I had been researching the top educational resources available in LA. A friend of mine introduced me to the Kelter Center and the researched based practices that they had been providing the community for the last 34 years. As soon as I explored their website further, I knew that the Kelter Center was a perfect fit for me. My match with the Kelter Center was bashert, meant to be!
What is your favorite part of your job?
I truly love every aspect of my job. However, my absolute favorite part overall is watching our students grow into confident, enthusiastic learners and thinkers!
Do you have a success story at Kelter Center you can share with us?
Yes, this is the part that I love! When I first started here a year ago a young girl came to us with absolutely no enthusiasm or confidence for school and/or learning and she was having trouble making friends. When she first entered The Kelter Center, she walked with her head down and didn’t even want to say hello to anyone. Within three short months of working one-on-one with her Kelter Center teacher she blossomed into a confident young girl who was excited to learn! She now has a little spring to her step and a smile on her face every week. When I greet her as usual, with the question, “How was your day?” She now excitedly engages me in a discussion about her day and shares specific examples of what she is working on in school.
Do you have any tips you can suggest to parents that have a student struggling in school?
One thing that parents can do, and should do, is talk to their child about how they are feeling towards school. Even if the child doesn’t have the exact words to describe their feelings, getting them more involved in their own learning process is critical to their overall success.
Another step would be to talk to the child’s teacher and ask them for suggestions or recommendations. This might lead to meeting with other support people at the school, such as a resource teacher and school administrators.
If after these steps are taken and a parent feels like they don’t have a handle on their child’s learning difficulties or how best to address them, I would recommend that they seek out an organization such as The Kelter Center to help guide them through the process of identifying their child’s exact needs and develop a program plan to begin closing the learning gaps!
I remember you saying that you can bring your Golden Retriever to work on some days. Are students pretty happy to have him around too?
Yes, I can bring Kingsley, my amazing Golden Retriever to work with me! This is yet, another awesome part of my job! Our students and families absolutely love him! The kids play with him during their breaks.
This past summer one of Kingsley’s favorite new buddies read to Kingsley during his sessions. This was an amazing success story because when this young boy started working with us he was a very reluctant reader and would only read lists of words not books. After working with his Kelter Center teacher for a few intensive weeks, he was not only reading books but he was requesting to read them aloud to Kingsley!
Are there any movies/books/events you can suggest out there for 11-14 year olds?
One of my students recommends the following movie and books:
Movie: Alex Ryder Storm Breaker
Books: 39 Clues and the One Piece Series
Events: I recommend picking up a free copy of L.A. Parent and the Education Guide at one of your local grocery stores, Starbucks etc. The free publications print calendars of all of the top local events!