The truth is, I found SOI by accident! I became a certified teacher in the field of physical education, but the reality is that I have never used my degree in a traditional sense. My first teaching job was as an instructional assistant working in a Life Skills classroom. I followed that with a position for two years as an instructional assistant working one-on-one with an autistic student.
I took a break because my granddaughter needed a caregiver who was familiar with her specific medical issues, but four years later, I was able to get back into a classroom when a private school asked me to come and teach grades six to eight. I was happy to take on the challenge.
It was at this private school that I was first introduced to SOI/IPP. I have to tell you, I was hooked right away! The whole concept intrigued me. When the private school did an offshoot charter, I transferred over to teaching for the charter school. The new addition specialized in at-risk students and was based upon the SOI concept.
I continued to be fascinated by SOI and was really enjoying learning from the wonderful woman doing the training. I was always asking her questions! One day she said, “Judy, why don’t you think about becoming SOI Basic trained?” I thought, “Why not?”
It was at this time that the charter school was moved to another location. In the midst of the move, I got my training and became one of two SOI specialists at the school. SOI made such a difference in the students and their learning. Every student was making progress on their state testing. But then I had to retire, and the other trainer had to leave. There was no one there to do SOI that year and I truly believe that that is one of the reasons those students flat lined on their state tests that year.
Even though I never got the chance to use that training at the charter school, I am now IPP trained. I never got away from teaching/helping kids, though. I was always being asked by family and friends to help kids, along with many adults, who were falling through the cracks at normal schools. Eventually, this led to the opening of my own clinic, and now I am volunteering to help in an after-school program at the high school where I help students work on their homework, career studies, senior projects, and so much more.
Always looking forward, I am also looking into starting a program that would help low income or financially needy children and adults get the testing and training they need to make learning and working easier. My husband and I aren’t sure how that will look yet, but whatever we do, my goal is to make this available to anyone and everyone who needs it!
written by: Judy Becker, SOI Practitioner and founder of Power2Learn
To view this blog in Spanish, click here.