Spotlight Teacher of the Month: Jana Rone

By: Warren Laidler

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Position: K-2 Autism Teacher
District: Tacoma Public Schools

Jana Rone is a K-2 Autism Teacher from Tacoma Public Schools in Washington. Jana has been a dedicated Rethink user for nearly two years now and couldn’t be happier with the results.

Ms. Rone describes how her classroom has benefited, “Rethink has fully and efficiently allowed me to create meaningful and measurable IEP goals, strategically plan instruction around these goals, and monitor student progress towards achieving them.” For Tacoma Public Schools, the professional development for paraeducators has been key to giving students the attention they need and allowing Jana to focus more on building the curriculum.

“The interface is user friendly and the training center has proven to be a valuable tool for my paraeducators, allowing me to more easily delegate teaching and data-collection responsibilities with the added confidence that best practices are being used.”

In the classroom, Rethink is ideal in expanding her student’s expressive communication, emotional literacy, social interaction, and independence in daily routines. According to Jana, “Task analysis, discrete trial and incidental teaching has sharpened our focus and made our practices with students much more informed and intentional.”

While discussing Rethink, Jana recalls a specific success story involving one of her kindergarten students (pictured below) who has been working on identifying emotions in himself and in others as well as expanding his expressive communication. During a particularly challenging and frustrating afternoon for him, he looked in the mirror, then approached Ms. Rone with tears on his cheeks and said “sad, angry.” She recalls, “I took him over to our emotions wall and he placed his picture on the face that matched his. Thanks in part to Rethink, he was empowered to share his feelings and advocate for himself.”

To many, integrating technology into the classroom seems challenging. However, as Jana remarked, “It is important to remember, in the long run, you save time and also access teaching, assessment and progress reporting while creating IEP goals, it also helps making you more organized and accessible.”

Keep up the fantastic work, Ms. Rone! Congratulations on being this month’s Spotlight Teacher!

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