Betsy Bankston is a surgical nurse, so she’s skilled at diagnostics. But it was her instinct as a mother that kicked in when she saw her daughter Audrey struggling and falling behind in reading in kindergarten. She knew her daughter wasn't getting the attention she needed, either. “I wasn’t trained as a teacher, but I knew I could do better for her,” she says.
She began to homeschool, and as she became more experienced, she realized that Audrey was dyslexic. While learning more about dyslexia, she heard about Orton-Gillingham. A friend of a friend told her about Susie and Camp Spring Creek. Last January, she took the Associate Level training with the aim of becoming the most effective homeschool teacher she could be. Earlier this month, she began as a tutor at Camp Spring Creek. Betsy is so dedicated that she teaches all week, then drives home on the weekend to her home near Gastonia and works her nursing shifts.
As a tutor, Betsy has worked with students across a range of reading levels. Over the summer, she says, she has been able to supply them with the tools they need to improve their reading, such as syllable chunking, finger tapping, and writing and grammar for more advanced students. They are so eager to learn, she says, she can see them soaking in what they’re learning like sponges. “I love to watch them make progress. It’s so rewarding to see them accomplish their goals.”
Working at Camp Spring has been an intense learning period, says Betsy, one during which she has cemented a lot of what she acquired during her Associate Level training. This investment in her own learning and in her students is one she’s been happy to have opportunity to make.
“Susie says the greatest gift you can give a dyslexic is time,” says Betsy. “When I’m with my students, it doesn’t feel like 55 minutes. The time flies by. I wish I had two hours to spend with them each day!”