Fiona James successfully completed an extremely rigorous Orton Gillingham training which included over 700 hours of supervision through the Atlantic Seaboard Dyslexia Education Center in Rockville, Maryland. Fiona also has an extensive background, working for many years in the US and Canada as a Special Education teacher and Learning Specialist. In her former roles, she provided academic support to students with learning differences, and provided advocacy support for families.
She also was a Special Education Master Teacher at The Lab School of Washington (DC), conducted and interpreted academic assessments at The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto. Fiona supervised graduate students in both settings. Fiona left the school setting to provide interventions that more effectively catered to each student's specific needs, particularly for those with dyslexia.
Originally from Vancouver, Canada she taught/practiced in private and public schools in metro Vancouver, the East Bay of San Francisco, Washington, DC, suburban Maryland and metro Toronto.
Fiona recently returned to the west coast to live in north west Washington State, close to her hometown, family and the outdoors. She is so grateful to live in the beauty of the Pacific Northwest. She enjoys hiking, snow shoeing, cross country skiing, photography, water sports, and soaking in the endless stunning vistas. She loves the opportunity to choose between the beach and the alpine for recreational adventures. In her quieter moments, she has read a ridiculous amount on education and teaching, particularly on teaching reading, of which she is very passionate.
Certified Academic Language Therapist, The Association of Academic Language Therapists.
Dyslexia Specialist, The International Dyslexia Association/CERI.
Masters of Arts: Special Education specializing in Learning Disabilities (San Francisco State University).
Education Specialist in Early Childhood Special Education/Doctoral Studies, with a focus on leadership, educational policy, administration and reading (The George Washington University).
Professional Certification in Special Education and General Education in Maryland, Washington State and British Columbia.
To quote my former employer Sally L. Smith (1929 - 2007), founder of The Lab School in Washington, DC, "Every child can learn, we just haven't found the best way yet."
Children learn in different ways. It can vary widely from a relatively effortless process, to an intense, systematic, highly individualized approach. From a parent's perspective, you may wonder "How does he know that?" to "When will she ever learn to read better?”
Sometimes the needs of a student require an intensive, multi-sensory, systematic approach. Schools are often not able to do this at a highly individualized level. I provide services to fill this gap, and has great success with the most ‘reluctant’ and fearful learners. She develops a personal rapport with each student. Fiona believes that a trusting relationship is the foundation needed for successful academic interventions.