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Check Out Chloe Ball’s Story

Today we’d like to introduce you to Chloe Ball.

Hi Chloe, please kick things off for us with an introduction to yourself and your story.

I am from Bermuda. However, I reside in Washington, DC. and am a passionate K-3 Reading Specialist within DCPS. I relocated to D.C. back in 2013— immediately following the completion of my master’s program at Hunter College. I now spend each day activating my professional WHY— remediating skill deficiencies in reading for students in kindergarten through 3rd grade. My greatest passion comes from igniting the hearts of reluctant readers every school year— convincing them of the magic and excitement awaiting them in the world of books. This has been my greatest accomplishment to date.

I am also a contributing writer and editor for Bermuda Wellness Space []—a virtual platform promoting wellness and telehealth care on the island I grew up on and love, Bermuda! My published articles can be found under the ‘Conscious Parenting’ link on the site. My latest article, “Ways to Promote Early Literacy,” was published on January 2nd, 2022. 

Writing has always been a creative and meditative outlet for me, and something I indulge in whenever time permits. In my spare time, I enjoy writing children’s books which I hope to submit to select publishers when I’m ready.

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?

I feel blessed that my career has been uneventful and effortless to date. Every opportunity—from classroom teacher to administrator, to now Reading Specialist—evolved organically over the past decade. 

The pandemic of 2020, however, has certainly been my first real challenge with home and school becoming integrated during a time of unprecedented health risks, and extreme stress for families. Working at my current school located east of the Anacostia River—a community fraught with poverty and violence—has highlighted the social inequities that abound. The pandemic amplified preexisting inequities in access to resources. The lack of access to devices and high-speed internet, for example, prevented many of our students from fully participating in distance learning. This led to cumulative disadvantage as many were already operating well below grade level before March 2020. The pandemic exacerbated this reality—widening the achievement gap.

Yet, challenges like the pandemic offer us all an invaluable opportunity to become more resilient, to refine our characters, to be more flexible, and solution-oriented. It has brought my colleagues and I closer together as we work tirelessly to support the literacy infrastructure of our school while also being more responsive to the increasing needs of the families we serve.

Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?

As a K-3 Reading Specialist, I help support the literacy infrastructure of the public charter school I serve in SE Washington, DC. I am part of a team comprised of two literacy coaches, another K-3 Reading Specialist, and a Literacy Director. Together, we work collaboratively to remediate skill deficiencies in reading for our young learners who are reading on average one to two years below grade level. 

As a Reading Specialist, I contribute to classroom teachers’ efforts to improve the reading skills of our students in kindergarten through 3rd grade. I do not replace classroom teachers; rather, I support, supplement, and extend instruction primarily through pull-out services that I provide in my office. Through targeted and systematic interventions in typically a 1:1 or small group setting [of no more than 2-3 students], I work on specific reading strategies and skills to remediate deficiencies through high-leverage, prescriptive, literacy-based instruction tailored to meet their individual needs. Ultimately, the goal is to get to know classroom teachers and work collaboratively with the literacy coaches to ensure that there is a unified model for teaching reading that is developmentally appropriate and considers the holistic needs of every student.

What do you think about happiness?

I think that “happiness”—or peace in mind, body, and spirit which is my goal—is a personal choice for us all. As a Buddhist, I choose to believe that the universe is actively conspiring in my favor and that the people, the opportunities, and the experiences manifesting in the physical realm are merely due to my intentions, thoughts and actions coming into alignment with the universe. Consequently, when a desired goal does not manifest in my life, I believe that the universe is protecting me from something I cannot see at that time.

The pandemic of 2020 necessitated that we lived almost in isolation for extended periods. I used this perceived universal gift of “forced solitude” to deepen my spiritual practice and to nourish that inner flame within that cannot be extinguished by external forces unless allowed. While we cannot always control what happens to us in life, we can control how we perceive what happens and how we respond. To me, positive reframing begets more positivity—more peace in mind, body, and spirit. Moreover, life is energy. Therefore, we need to be mindful of how we show up in the world energetically. We attract into our lives the energy that we emit into it. Naturally, when we are more cognizant of this reality, how we show up on a moment-to-moment basis will reflect this understanding, and peace in mind, body and spirit will naturally follow.

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