For the next six months, Kohler tutored the boy and his dad before school. The father very quickly learned to read.
“It still chokes me up thinking about it,” said Kohler, who for the last several years has been the Master Instructor and Director of Professional Development and Instruction for The Institute for Multi-Sensory Education. “They were learning together.”
Kohler said she has yet to meet anyone who can’t benefit from IMSE’s Orton-Gillingham approach to learning to read. That includes special education students, general education students, adults and teachers.
“I think we’re definitely making lives better,” Kohler said. “Being able to provide the gift of reading is really empowering. You’re opening up a whole new world for people.”
Kohler knew from a young age she wanted to be a teacher. She said she was always the kid playing teacher. In high school she decided to go into special education after watching a cousin who had been born with Down syndrome accomplish so much, with the right support.
“It was something that really impressed me with everything that she was capable of doing,” Kohler said.
Kohler left traditional teaching for her position at IMSE because she believed in the company’s mission and she wanted to share the skills she had learned with other instructors. Kohler said she had used IMSE’s OG in her classroom for more than 15 years and was amazed by how it could be applied in practical situations.
“Other programs might look great in an ideal situation, but when I used them in my classroom, there were a lot of problems with it,” Kohler said. “With IMSE’s OG, it was applicable and it made sense. If your students were struggling or there were behavior problems, there were ways to adjust. It was applicable to any student.”
Kohler said with her current role, she’s “able to help teachers help other students.” Kohler oversees the hiring and training of highly qualified instructors for IMSE. She is also responsible for the quality of IMSE’s trainings and content. In addition, Kohler has created and developed IMSE’s Certification program. Janice also manages the IMSE Leadership Team.
She said 10 years from now, she expects IMSE to still be out there “training the masses.”
“This is such a quality program that really does truly work with students,” Kohler said. “All of our trainers have had great success. It’s only going to continue to grow and continue to improve as we go along.”