Mike Dittman PS 85: The Great Expecations School The Bronx, NY
Mike Dittman has been a special education teacher at PS 85: The Great Expectations School for five years. He enjoys influencing the students in a positive way and seeing how they grow in all aspects of life. He also loves to read and mostly enjoys reading nonfiction. His favorite book is Mother of God which is about the Amazon Rainforest. Mr. Dittman thinks Tutormate is an extremely useful resource for the classroom. He likes how the students get an interactive experience reading with the tutors and that it also allows the students to get a break from conventional classroom instruction. Mr. Dittman takes advantage of the “teachable moment” here and explains how the tutors are volunteers who are taking time out of their schedule to read with the students. This can foster empathy within the children as they are experiencing other people helping them.
Debra Newton is Mr. Dittman's co-teacher. Debra Newton has been working at PS 85 for 20 years. She loves helping and supporting the children in all aspects of their education and seeing their growth from the beginning to the end of the school year. She feels Tutormate has been very beneficial in supporting the students' literacy skills!
WHAT MAKES THIS CLASSROOM SUCCESSFUL
Tutormate was able to work well in Mr. Dittman’s classroom because the students understood the reason behind the program and they respected the tutors. Although there were changes in the class schedule, the tutors were very flexible because there was effective communication between the teacher and the tutors.
One of Mr. Dittman’s students that has greatly benefited from TutorMate this year is named Grace. She was at a B reading level at the beginning of the school year and now she is a Level I! Mr. Dittman has noticed that Grace is more willing to take risks when she reads as she is confident in her abilities. This is a great example of how TutorMate helps kids succeed on many different levels. Mr. Dittman would also like to give special thanks to the classroom’s student greeters, Amora and Hunter, who were also tutored.
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