As the Middle School’s learning specialist, Lisa West helps students build and fill toolboxes with skills and strategies that will help them be successful in Middle School and beyond. “I help students develop a vision of what makes a successful middle school student, and this becomes their toolbox. Inside it they add tools that work for them as individuals. For example, a student who is primarily a visual learner might make charts or graphs to reinforce a concept. Another student might reach into her toolbox for audio resources such as CDs or initiate a group study session with conversations about the material. When students know how they learn and what they need to succeed, and when they know where to go and what to use, they become independent learners, and able to advocate for themselves.”
To help fill the toolboxes, West visits classrooms, guides study halls, and works individually and in small groups with students. She attends Middle School Camp, too. West gets especially excited seeing the giant leaps in self-confidence and self-knowledge that Charles Wright Academy students make from sixth through eighth grades as they fill their learning toolboxes.
“Charles Wright students are problem solvers, and I love seeing the self-determination they exhibit, even at the Lower School level,” she said.
West spent most of her life teaching in Georgia, but is thrilled to be living in Washington state. When not working at CWA, she is often reading, playing board and card games, traveling, volunteering with non-profit organizations, or indulging her passion for electronics and engineering, especially remote controlled trains, cars, and airplanes. In fact, her dream is to fill a room in her home with remote controlled trains.