Jenifer Swope, a learning support teacher at Lincolnway Elementary in the West York Area School District, was recently named an “outstanding” teacher by Shippensburg University’s School Study Council.
Swope said that she always wanted to be a teacher, and she became a learning support teacher because she was dyslexic as a child.
“I wanted to teach kids like myself,” she said.
Hear her talk more about her job in the video below.
Swope co-teaches in two classrooms, which means that she’s in that classroom with another teacher. Co-teaching allows the learning support students to stay in the regular classroom. Swope can pull students (learning support or regular education students) aside for small groups if she sees they need extra help or she can take learning support students from both classrooms out for a lesson if necessary.
The learning support students are motivated by the other students in the classroom, she said. And the teachers have the opportunity to work together to plan lessons, talk about what the students need and “divide and conquer” issues when they need to.
“It’s working together to meet everyone’s needs,” she said.
The classes use technology heavily, she said, which motivates the students. The special education department has a mobile lab stocked with computers so students can each use their own. She can record herself reading a book so they can listen later, or they can use online programs for writing. Kids who would not write before will write paragraphs if technology is involved, she said.
Swope, who has been a teacher for 15 years, said she loves going to graduation, where she can see the student, who maybe couldn’t get her stuff together in fifth grade, walk across stage and receive a diploma.
What does she like most about teaching?
“Seeing them happy about learning,” she said.
Here’s a list of the other teachers from York County that were also named “outstanding teachers.”
- Brian Hubbs, Central York
- Reagan Bitler, Hanover Public
- Marc Anderson, Northern York County
- Tanya Meyers, Northern York County
- Scott Schreckengast, Red Lion Area
- Kate Walker, Red Lion Area
- Lynn Clements, Southern York County
- Maureen Honeychuck, Southern York County
- Celeste Barnes, Spring Grove Area
- Matthew Wagoner, West Shore
Swope, Barnes, Honeychuck, Clements and Schreckengast will also serve as guest lecturer at Shippensburg.