MA Special Education, Specialization in Learning Disabilities (University of North Dakota, USA)
BA Psychology (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)
Marcela gained her Special Education degree with specialization in learning differences from University of North Dakota. Marcela also has a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from PUC- Rio, a university in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, where she’s originally from.
Marcela has more than 10 years of teaching experience across three top tier international schools in South America, Europe, and Asia. In working with children and adolescents, her philosophy is focused on developing their understanding of and participation in inclusion, respecting their self-advocacy, supporting their social-emotional needs, and encouraging them to take risks and persevere when challenges arise. Empathy, positivity, and a deep knowledge of both evidence-based teaching strategies and best practices in special education are at the heart of her engagement with children and families.
One of Marcela’s recent work experiences was as a learning specialist at Marymount International School in Paris, France. Specifically, teaching students with learning differences in grades 2-5 and while there she built upon the school’s pre-existing framework for inclusion, solidifying structures of support for students, including the creation and implementation of Individualized Education Plans (IEPs). She meticulously planned accommodations and modifications within both units of study and within individual lessons for students receiving formalized learning support. Additionally, she had the opportunity to work in the school’s Individualized Learning Center (ILC) which delivers a highly specialized program for students with severe learning needs. Her experience in the center was extremely meaningful as it was a poignant reminder that all students can be successful given the appropriate support systems. Lastly, Marcela was one of the coordinators of the Well-being program, working with students in individual sessions to help them work through social/emotional issues during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Marcela currently works at Hong Kong International School (HKIS) as a learning specialist in grade 6. She supports students in class collaborating alongside the classroom teacher and teaches a Learning Strategies class. Students in Learning Strategies class are provided with 1:1 and small group remediation according to their identified needs. Students receive additional time and support to complete core class assignments, and direct instruction in the following: study skills, executive functioning skills, reading comprehension, written expression, and self-advocacy. Marcela also reviews student’s psycho-educational evaluations, adjusts service levels or accommodations and is consistently communicating with families and outside service providers.
Lastly, Marcela is genuinely excited to be part of the team at SPOT and to have the opportunity to bring her unique skill set to the organization. She believes that SPOTs unwavering commitment to the learning, well-being, and overall growth of children is exceptional in the context of Hong Kong.