My name is Merle Passis, and it has been my pleasure to be a Learning Assistance teacher for the past 16 years at Roycemore School. I work with students from first through fourth grade on an individual basis to support them in their reading and reading comprehension, decoding and written language. I also have the privilege of working collaboratively with the classroom teachers in providing an environment that is nurturing and supportive for all the students in the Learning Assistance Program so that they can experience success as they work in the one-on-one setting. I graduated with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English from Roosevelt University and received my M/Ed in LD/BD from National Louis University. I am also certified in the Wilson Reading Program which is a multi-sensory structured reading program created to help struggling readers as well as provide additional reading instruction to all readers to help them improve their skills. I have also tutored privately for many years working with children who struggled with reading and written language issues. I currently reside with my husband in Highland Park; enjoy hiking, listening to music and reading and take pleasure in spending as much time as we can with our grandchildren who range in age from 11 to 3. I serve on the board of our synagogue, Am Shalom in Glencoe, IL, as well as the board of YEA which is a non-profit that provides funding for organizations that support the youth, arts, education and social services locally in our area.
“Those who know do, those who understand, teach.” Aristotle
Seeing a student learn a new word, grasp a new concept, fluently read a passage or answer that difficult question correctly and see his face light up; that is why I teach. That is where the gratification comes from for me; watching the student experience success and believing in himself. Knowing the strategies we’ve been working on together are making sense, and he is able to process that new information; that provides success for him. I’m proud because he is proud! Watching a student gain self-confidence and improve in his self-esteem is what we hope for! That is what makes it all worthwhile. That’s a Win/Win.
It is a privilege to teach at Roycemore, and when I am asked where I teach, I answer with pride, “I teach at Roycemore School in Evanston!” It is a genuinely supportive and collaborative environment where teachers are supported by their colleagues and the administration. Working together as teams enhances the learning for the students so their social/emotional and academic needs can be met. We all have their best interests in mind and encourage the students to advocate for themselves so they will have the confidence to try to be the best they can be.