Spotlight on Resource

Spotlight on Resource

Tara Doherty’s educational belief can be summed up in one sentence, “Every student is different, so it is important we recognize that each student requires different support.”

women at her desk working on computerTara runs the Resource department at St-Laurent Academy and is a constant presence throughout the school. “Most of my day is spent in our classrooms; from kindergarten to high school. My job is to ensure that the needs of our students are being met by working closely with our teachers. The support our students need ranges from some students needing an extra reminder about homework, some needing help staying organized, and some students needing more of a challenge as their grade level is too low for their abilities. Regardless of what the support looks like, it is important that our students feel comfortable and that we are giving them the best opportunity to achieve success.”

Originally from Port Hope, just outside Toronto, Tara represented Canada for several years in ice dancing, traveling the world as a teenager. This caused her to miss a great deal of school meaning she was often catching up on missed work early in the morning and late into the night. “Having a non-traditional educational experience gave me a huge appreciation for the needs some students may have. Regardless of their circumstance, whether it is a student needing support for grade level work or a student needing higher level work, I believe our students should have access to it.”

Tara has been an educator for 11 years, having taught in England and Toronto before coming to St-Laurent Academy. “I think our school does a great deal towards supporting our students through its every day approach. Aspects like small class sizes, daily PE and consistent communication with home make our students feel relaxed, important and valued. Myself and Mrs. Barnshaw, another Resource teacher in our school, feel that we are seeing our students at their best, and as a result we can act accordingly. The benefits can be massive for our students.”

It is this consistent communication with parents that also involves the other area Tara is involved in with the school, that of Student Success. “Myself and Mr. MacNeil both oversee Student Success. In a nutshell, Student Success involves knowing the students well, knowing the parents well, and communicating with our teachers well. This means the three major groups involved in a child having success are all linked. Many people coming from the public system speak of their child being lost in a big class or having teachers not know their child well enough for them to succeed. Our students cannot ‘hide’ in our school, any issues they have are recognized and are dealt with quickly. I think that is integral for student success.”