It is said that people often come into your life for a reason. That statement is true for Gina DiCamillo, or Ms. D., and how she ended up as an Integrated Learning Support teacher at Scenic Hills Elementary.
Gina received her undergraduate degree from Lebanon Valley College, and is also elementary and special education certified. During her student teaching experience, Gina was touched by the determination of a child that used sign language as their primary form of communication. It was that relationship that motivated Gina to work at the PA School for the Deaf and begin her Masters from St. Joe's with a concentration in deaf and hard of hearing.
Hard work paved Gina's path to Springfield. She carries that grit into her classroom, and her students have learned to replicate the hard work that she puts in each day. Gina focuses on challenging her students in the classroom and creating a safe place for them to have the courage to make mistakes. She often says to the students, "It is good to make mistakes because that means you are getting better."
Gina's students are consistently mastering their goals and it is apparent that her focus is on challenging her students toward success. She moves along quickly once they have become proficient at a skill, but will revisit maintenance mode to ensure the skill isn't lost. She has cultivated an environment for her students to always be one step out of their comfort zone. They know it is challenging, but she has also instilled in them the courage to know they can accomplish anything they set their mind to.
Posted in Gina's classroom, is a bright poster stating: Retrain your brain. Gina refers her students to this mantra consistently and helps them to go from "I can't" to "I can do this". She helps them to understand that small steps add up to success. Reading a paragraph can lead to a page, which can lead to a chapter, which can lead to finishing a whole book. She has confidence in her students and knows that there is grit in each one of them. She focuses on building their confidence so they will continue to try and will continue to create success.
Gina knows that all her students shine at different times and she celebrates the individual success of each student.
We love to watch you and your students shine, Ms. D.
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