Graduate Student Highlight | Aimee Smith
"I felt the Curriculum and Instruction program would provide me with ample knowledge and opportunities to enrich my teaching practices across the variety of situations I encounter in my day-to-day roles."
Aimee Smith, Curriculum & Instruction M.S.
- Curriculum and Instruction (M.S.)
Please provide a brief bio including your educational and career background.
My name is Aimee Smith, I am in my 8th year teaching special education for Frederick County Public Schools.
I am currently a special education teacher, case manager, and reading intervention teacher at Linganore High School. Prior to working at Linganore High School, I was a special education teacher and case manager at Heather Ridge School.
I received my bachelor’s degree in Elementary and Special Education from Hood College in May of 2013 and am currently working towards my master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction with a concentration in special education at Hood College!
Why did you choose Hood College and this program in particular?
After having such a positive experience at the undergraduate level, I knew I wanted to pursue my master's degree with Hood College as well.
As a special education teacher, I work with students and staff across all content areas. I felt the Curriculum and Instruction program would provide me with ample knowledge and opportunities to enrich my teaching practices across the variety of situations I encounter in my day-to-day roles.
What do you enjoy most about being at Hood College? Do you have a favorite college memory so far?
Tell us about your capstone research project.
The purpose of my action research project is to show the effects of a social emotional learning (SEL) curriculum on the reading comprehension skills of students that receive special education supports and services. My research question is: How will implementing social emotional learning strategies to students with special education services impact their reading comprehension skills?
I have designed and implemented a 9-week methodology that incorporates strategies specific to teaching skills in the 5 areas of social emotional learning (self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship skills, and responsible decision making). I am extremely passionate about SEL and care deeply about the social emotional wellbeing of my students.
How has your graduate degree coursework helped further your career and/or your life?
Through my graduate degree coursework, I have deepened my understanding of curriculum and instruction. I have challenged my own thinking, built upon my educational philosophy, and expanded my knowledge. This program has added more tools to my toolbox!