Rye Neck teacher Melissa Silva
Spotlight on a Special Teacher, Melissa Silva
By Janice Llanes Fabry
Rye Neck Special Education teacher Melissa Silva was chosen as one of four educators across the country to participate in an Adopt-a-Teacher program initiated by Vitiello Communications Group (VTLO). The agency will provide Silva with communication tools throughout the school year.
“I pour all my energy and resources into helping the students, so I’m grateful to have outside expertise that offers communication resources to forge the relationship between teachers and parents, especially during a pandemic when things are so unresolved,” noted Silva. “Vitiello offers a lot of insight in this area.”
Silva is in her fifth year of teaching Special Education in grades 6-12. Primarily, she focuses on executive function skills, which run the gamut from time management to study and organizational skills to emotional and impulse control. She is also involved in pre-teaching and re-teaching curriculum topics.
During the shutdown, she utilized Google Meet to hold classes a few times per week. For those students needing daily additional support to engage in virtual learning, she held one-on-one sessions.
“I think of my students as my kids and balancing their needs with that of my own kids at home was definitely challenging,” explained Silva, who has a 5-year-old daughter and a 2-year-old son.
Vitiello, a communications agency that promotes education, equality, and environmental stewardship, invited their own employees to nominate an outstanding teacher for their inaugural Adopt-A-Teacher program. Melissa’s aunt was one of those employees.
“Melissa Silva is an excellent educator who expressed a strong interest in bringing modern communication techniques to her students and their parents, particularly as they have been under so much pressure due to Covid-19 quarantining,” explained Chief Executive Officer Jill Vitiello. “We are thrilled to support these efforts and look forward to collaborating with her throughout the school year to provide support to the people whose lives she enriches every day.”
The agency will help Silva enhance her teacher portal page for parents with resources, information, and articles, as well as help her put together a PowerPoint presentation in lieu of a traditional back-to-school open house.
“We have a better grasp now of how to teach our students throughout this coming year as new developments unfold,” offered Silva. “The program strengthens the teacher-parent bond and at the end of the day, parents know I have their children’s best interests at heart.”