Name: Stephanie Wallace
Pursuit: Individual Grant - Literacy Education
Stephanie has a strong passion for student literacy and has developed a range of strategies and programs that assist with reading, spelling, writing and oral tasks to improve the educational outcomes of students who are at risk in the area of literacy particularly those with dyslexia. Her spelling program compliments the learning programs taking place in the classroom and can be used to assist children in small groups who need direct instruction of phonics, spelling rules and word structure. Many families and schools cannot afford private tuition and special education, Stephanie’s program is cost effective to run and easy for schools to implement and is already part of the core curriculum at one Australian primary school. Stephanie’s dream is to share her knowledge, strategies and programs with as many families and educators as possible as well as to provide professional development sessions for teachers.
When did you start?
10 years ago researching, studying and attending courses, seminars etc on spelling, literacy and learning difficulties, in particular dyslexia.
Career highlight or biggest achievement?
My greatest reward is watching children I work with change their attitude to their learning. Seeing their faces light up when they finally “get it”. One of my most rewarding experiences was working with a new Grade 6 girl who was repeating the year and had changed schools. She had a spelling age of 10 and very low comprehension skills but was brilliant at maths. She has moved on to high school with the spelling age of a 15 year old and now has above average comprehension skills.
What is your dream?
To create a website with loads of free information, strategies for parents/carers and educators in the area of literacy and specifically spelling. To get help to as many children who are struggling as possible whose parents can’t afford expensive programmes and tutoring.
Who or what have inspired you?
Who's your hero?
I have many in the educational area but the one person who always gives me the drive to never give up is Stuart Diver. What happened to him and how he survived in spite of the horrific things he went through inspire me to keep going despite the obstacles and challenges involved.
Any other special talents?
I have been good at many things such as sport but I think we are all multi talented, it just depends on the opportunities that we are given to discover them.
I love a lot of different types of music. It depends on where I am, what I am doing and who I am with.
Anything that makes me laugh or a good crime story. I do love Billy Maddison as it is a favourite with my own kids and we have watched it over and over again. Anything that makes me laugh or a good crime story. I do love Billy Maddison as it is a favourite with my own kids and we have watched it over and over again.
Favourite TV Show?
Probably Greek, Italian, Portuguese......anything from that part of the world.
How the grant will help you/how will you use the money?
To create a website that is simple and user friendly for families and educators dealing with children with learning difficulties in literacy. To hopefully give children, who are needlessly struggling with spelling and literacy, an opportunity to improve so that they too can develop self belief, confidence in their own abilities and grow up to be resilient young people.
Last words: Quote or Motto you live by?
“Children grow up to be what their parents and teachers tell them they are”. I don’t know the author but it is so incredibly true. Children who are told they are stupid, believe they are and give up trying and believing they can learn new things.