Taking on the role of academic coach, Diane Jones is teaching students who have dropped out of high school and are preparing for the TASC exam. TASC is an acronym for Test Assessing Secondary Completion. It’s the new GED in New York State.
Mrs. Jones was hired as a youth literacy instructor in the fall for the WSWHE BOCES’s TASC program offered in Glens Falls and Fort Edward that addresses the learning needs of youth ages 16 to 21.
“I like it. It’s interesting,” said Mrs. Jones of her new position. “I am guiding students through learning content and gaining the skills to pass the test.”
The people enrolled in the program have myriad reasons why they dropped out of high school. “It’s complicated,” explained Mrs. Jones. “I don’t think you can say it’s just one thing. One reason is that the state has amped up the skill level and there are students who didn’t make that jump.”
In addition, there are factors such as homelessness, hunger or dealing with substance abuse. Regardless of the reasons, it’s clear that establishing a relationship with students is imperative. Mrs. Jones sprinkles in some humor with her teaching as she builds a rapport with her students, letting them know she cares about their success.
“We learn from people we like,” added Mrs. Jones as she prepared for her class. “It’s a way to manage your classroom. If you have kids who have dropped out of school due to abuse, they are less likely to trust any adults.”
Mrs. Jones has experience teaching all age groups. She worked as a reference librarian for 10 years at Crandall Library and was the library media specialist at both Granville Central School and Saratoga Springs City Schools. Since 2013, she has also been a tutor with her own business, Adirondack Professional Tutoring.
She earned a Bachelor of Arts in history from SUNY Potsdam, a Master of Library Science and Master of Literacy from University at Albany and is certified to teach in School Media and Literacy (Birth to Grade 6).
Outside of the classroom, Mrs. Jones likes photography, exercising and spends a lot of time reading for enjoyment and professional development. She plays the fiddle for a Celtic music band, the Grafton Street Trio, playing for contra dances, weddings, concerts and special events. Most recently, they played for an Irish Set dance workshop and at the Irish Jam at the Dance Flurry in Saratoga Springs.
Mrs. Jones and her husband live in Queensbury.
Click here for more information on TASC. To sign up for an orientation session, call: 581-3560 or 746-3560.