My name is Karen Reinhart and I am a Para Educator for Shelby County Public Schools in Shelbyville, Kentucky as well as an Educational Technology student at Western Kentucky University. This site serves as my online technology portfolio and blogging site for my Ed Tech courses. A Para Educator serves to support learning and instruct alongside the teacher in varying aspects. For me, the role of a Para Educator has evolved over the last 25+ years. I spent 13 years as a “para educator” in dentistry as a dental hygienist educating my patients in ways to achieve improved oral health. After leaving the career of my “past life” in order to stay home, I became a Domestic Para Educator while taking care of my children. This role continues as my children are now 22 and 13 years of age. It became necessary in 2008 for me to return to the work force, so for the past six years, I have been a Para Educator for exceptional children in the educational setting. I have worked with students who are physically, functionally, and mentally challenged, developmentally delayed, as well as gifted and exceptional students. I have witnessed first hand how technology can enlighten, excite, and expose students to learning not easily achieved through conventional instruction. I now have the opportunity to implement technology in curriculum. Our school took occupancy of a beautiful, brand new structure this school year. We are blessed with the most diverse technology of any building in our district!! This has allowed me to design curriculum for students on our campus as well as the students of my Instructional Design Project off campus at Shelby West Middle School. I would eventually like to combine my health background and my new skills to design instruction or implement technology in new ways in the health care arena.
I returned home to Shelbyville, Kentucky after 18 years of supporting my spouse’s career. I have resided in Denver, Albuquerque, St. Louis, and Chicago and am VERY glad to be back in Kentucky. I hold two degrees from state universities located here in the Bluegrass State; the first is an Associate Degree in Allied Health from the University of Louisville (1986) and more recently a Bachelors Degree of Health Sciences from WKU (2012). I will be finishing my Graduate Certificate in Educational Technology in the Spring of 2015 from WKU. I believe I am the epitome of blended learning as I have completed all coursework for my Bachelors and Graduate work as a distance learner; my studies have been exclusively online while working full time and managing my home. I enjoy attending church, crafting, sewing, gardening, photography (the header photo above is one that I recently captured), cooking, and spending time with family and friends. My favorite sports teams include the University of Kentucky Wildcats men’s basketball and the New England Patriots of the NFL. My favorite TV show is Duck Dynasty and currently my favorite app is Pinterest.
I have eluded to the fact that I am the mom of two awesome children, Seth and Hannah. They are the heartbeat of my life. Seth also works in our school district caring for students in our after school program. Seth enjoys online gaming and has aspirations to work in some IT aspect in the future. Hannah is a seventh grader at West Middle School and loves school. Hannah is a gifted singer and loves fashion. She will be representing her school’s STLP program at the state convention in March as the official social media representative; she will “tweet” the live events back to her school during the meeting. I am so proud of both of them and readily proclaim that I am their biggest cheerleader. We also have animal family members: two dogs (Mercedes and Stella), our recent addition of a cat (Valhalla), and a guinea pig (Toto).
Thank you for visiting my blog. Please leave comments so I can work to improve my site!
Karen Reinhart, Para Educator, SCPS-Southside Elementary
Please find a link below to view my Kentucky Digital Driver’s License.
My Family and What I Love on PhotoPeach
Students shown in the video have signed Media Release Forms with the Shelby County Public Schools
Maxwell, M. (31 August, 2014). Creating Pages and Embedding Media and Technology Projects. (Video file). Retrieved from http://margemaxwell.net/wordpress-tips/