Ellen Koitz

What brought you to Hood College?

I didn’t want to move too far away from my colleagues at the University of Virginia so that we could continue our research.

What do you value most about your relationship with graduate students?

I love that I interview students as they enter the program and then teach the capstone course in the Reading Specialization program. I truly get to see teachers turn into reading specialists.

What is the most rewarding aspect of teaching in the graduate school at Hood?

I enjoy getting to know my students—the six week clinical experience gives me the opportunity to interact with my students every day as I watch their growth.

Describe your approach to teaching.

I model most strategies that I teach. The clinical experience is an intensive assess/diagnose/prescribe cycle. I have the opportunity to observe the students and then conference with them following their lessons. I can’t think of a better way to teach (or learn)!

What is/are your most memorable moment/s at Hood?

I enjoy graduation ceremonies as I watch my students’ hard work come to fruition. I was so excited when I took my daughter to school and a recent graduate of the MS in Reading Specialization program greeted me as the reading specialist at my daughter’s school. I am so fortunate to have loyal graduates, employed as reading specialists, who are more than willing to serve on exit folio panels and teach courses in our program. I have kept in touch with many of my former students.

Describe your academic interests, research, professional interests or expertise.

My research interests include early literacy skills and spelling. I have presented with Judy Sherman, Ph.D., associate professor of education, at several conferences on the topic of sign language and vocabulary instruction. Kristy Calo and I were granted an SRI grant last summer and have written an article on the topic of fluency instruction. I’m in the process of writing an article that describes the benefits of remedial readers sharing rereads with therapy dogs to enhance fluency skills.

When you aren’t teaching, what are you doing in your spare time?

I spend time with my husband and children. My two daughters are avid horseback riders and we spend a lot of time at the barn.

What are three books that you would recommend everyone read?

“The Hurried Child” by David Elkind, “Pride and Prejudice” by Jane Austin and “The Giving Tree” by Shel Silverstein