ABOUT Joanne Kaminski
Your Child's Reading Success is Personal to Me
As a struggling reader up until high school, I personally felt that all of the other kids were smarter than me. My reading intervention didn't start until I was in 6th grade after scoring poorly on a state test.
I never intended to struggle.
I REALLY wanted to learn to read.
When I was 5, I asked everyone I knew to teach me, but they all told me that I would learn in school.
When I started school I was placed in the lowest reading group. Let me just tell you, everyone knows when they are in the lowest group. This was not a great way to start off my reading. It felt like I was dumb.
While I was reading the Little Train that Could all the other kids were reading chapter books. At least, it felt like all the other kids were reading chapter books.
I wanted to be like everyone else, but when I held a chapter book I became overwhelmed by all of the words that I did not know how to read.
Sometimes kids didn’t want to play with me because I was the slow kid. Kids can be mean sometimes. Am I right?
I Loved School, But Thought I was Dumb
I knew from an early age that I wanted to be a teacher and would play school all the time.
I was always a well-behaved child and tried hard in school.
So, I was one of those kids that kind of squeaked by without anyone knowing.
My big secret was that I didn’t understand what any of the words said. I finally got to a point where I could read out loud with just a couple of mistakes, but I didn’t understand anything.
Then in 6th grade we took a state test. I had no idea how to take it. No one ever showed me how to answer questions like these. I not only was slow to read everything, but then I would go back and forth between 2 answers and overthink everything.
I scored so low on this test and the teacher had a special conference with my mom. She shared how I was struggling and what my mom could do to help.
My mom was all in and began reading with me for the first time. She never knew that this was what she needed to be doing.
She picked Anne of Green Gables.
My world changed the day we started reading this together. For the very first time, I could see the words like they were images inside my head. I could see Matthew driving Anne in the wagon. It felt like I was Anne. I was looking all around and could see the beautifully blossomed trees and land as far as the eye could see.
No longer was I an outsider to the world of reading.
I was part of the story.
I was experiencing mind movies and feeling emotions I never knew I had. The thrill of reading was becoming real for me.
Denied Spanish Class
The next year in 7th grade I was denied access to learn a foreign language because of my standardized test scores. I felt resentment that the other kids could learn how to speak another language, but I was being refused.
Once again, I felt like the dumb kid. It felt like a pull-out class that our kids experience today. My room was no where near the foreign language classes. My class was in the music room.
My self esteem was shot. I even had kids in my reading class telling me that I was dumb and whispering behind my back. It was completely embarrassing and humiliating.
Next Chapter of my life
My teachers had told me to read 30 minutes a day and in 7th and 8th grade I not only did that but doubled it.
In high school, I was accepted into higher level classes, including AP Chemistry.
I studied hard and did what I needed to do.
It wasn’t until I graduated that I found out how smart I really was. I graduated 10th in my class. All this time I had thought that the other kids were smarter than me.
I was accepted at Marquette University in Milwaukee and graduated Summa Cum Laude.
When I graduated with my Masters as a Reading Specialist, I did so with a 4.0. (Something I never thought I would be capable of).
Passion for Helping Kids Today
As a classroom teacher I fell in love with teaching reading.
My love for reading turned into a passion of reading an hour a day about how to help kids struggling with reading. At the Milwaukee Academy of Science 30% of our students were reading on grade level or above. This meant that 70% of our kids were struggling.
Joanne's 3rd grade class at the Milwaukee Academy of Science
I wanted to know everything that I needed to know. I went to every conference about reading my school would let me attend. I became friends with people who were even better than me and learned from the best. I had mentors that I would lean on when stuck and I never stopped learning.
Started Tutoring Online
I left the school system in 2009 to be more present for my three children. I knew that I wanted to start working from home, but had no idea what that would look like. I started 5 businesses and none of them really resonated with me.
Then I started tutoring online. All of a sudden I felt like my purpose had been rejuvenated. I knew the instant I started doing it that I was doing what I was meant to do.
My students started getting results I had never witnessed before.
When I was in the school system I had teach the curriculum the way it was designed. Deviating away from it was frowned upon even if it meant meeting your students needs.
As I started my own private practice I was able to take all the research that I had read, books I had consumed, and conferences I had attended to design pathways to success for any student that I encountered.
Created a Program for Teachers and Tutors
After 2 years of doing this I gathered all of my data from my students and found out that I was able to close the reading gap a full year with 8-12 hours of instruction.
This was unheard of in the reading community. I had other teachers and tutors reaching out to me to teach them what I was doing.
Since I had experience with training teachers from my time in the school system, I put this in place to help tutors. The very first tutor who had little reading teaching experience got results immediately.
Her name is Meg Gupta.
Meg shared this review on my LinkedIn Page about the program I created.
Reaching Kids Around the World
I have spent the last 12 years working with kids one on one online. I have trained tutors for the last 8 years. I now feel confident to release not only my services to the world, but also the tutors I have spent training.
As of 2021, I am only working with 10 students personally. This is because I know there is so much more that we can do to help kids.
As I build my business to hire tutors you can be assured that I only bring on the best to work with your child. Tutors must pass the Reading Interventionist program exam at 90% or higher.
Then they get the opportunity to be mentored by me. After that as students are released to the tutors they are supported by weekly calls to ensure they are continuing to get the training they need to be the best that they can be.
This is a unique approach not found with other tutoring companies.
In addition, parents and students get so much more. If you choose to work with us you can choose to…
Be paired with a reading buddy. Older kids will be paired with younger kids from around the world.
Get access to a Facebook group where you can meet other parents enrolled with us and get weekly tips.
Read books at your child’s level using an amazing program online that is updated each time your child’s reading level increases.
Reading Path Journey
My own reading path has taken so many twists and turns. To see kids getting results faster than any other program in existence today is remarkable.
I am excited to share this journey with the tutors that work for Reading Tutors Near Me and the parents that get to see their child reach reading levels they always knew their child was capable of.
Are you interested in taking the next step? I personally do all of the tests myself and would love to meet you. To set up a free assessment, click this link.