From Failed Student to Award Winning Teacher
Keith Deltano is an award winning teacher, online reading tutor, speaker, and curriculum creator. But it didn’t start out that way. He was retained in third grade because he was unable to read and was diagnosed with Dyslexia, ADHD and APD (Audio Processing Disorder) He did not fit in and was bullied as a result of being unable to do the simplest tasks, like work the combination on his school locker or recite the months of the year.
Keith had some wonderful teachers in Connecticut, but at that time they did not have the medicines and teaching techniques they have now to deal with students with severe learning disabilities.
“Keith’s tutoring changed Cameron’s life and enabled us to be calmer and more in control parents. He taught us how to work with our son and how to guide him to academic and social success”
Keith eventually did learn to read and make his way to high school graduation. He joined the Army and things started to turn around. He enjoyed being an airborne military police officer and the structure of military life helped him tremendously. Keith began, quite to his astonishment, to win academic awards as well as awards for his general mission accomplishment. Keith discovered he was a kinesthetic learner and that he had to do to learn. Keith realized that he was smart, just hyper and easily distracted. He began developing coping skills to help him function in the military and life in general. He still uses those coping skills today.
Keith got the crazy idea to get out of the Army, go to college, get his teaching degree, and help students that were struggling and hurting as he had. Keith was honorably discharged and married his wife, Julia. He then took a shot at college. It was tough, but with Julia’s support, Keith graduated with a degree in Elementary Education and found himself in the classroom working with students that struggled with academic and behavioral challenges just like he had.
Keith taught sixth grade and coached academic teams at Jamestown Middle School in Jamestown, North Carolina. He won the “Teaching Excellence Award” for his work increasing the academic achievement levels as well as decreasing the behavioral infractions of at risk middle school students. He also won the “National Impact Award” for his efforts at parent outreach and education.
Keith also taught summer sessions with children that had severe, cognitive, physical and/or mental disabilities at the nationally acclaimed Gateway Education Center in Greensboro, NC. Keith found working with students of all ages that had challenges as diverse as autism and muscular dystrophy was very humbling. Keith started his own parent coaching practice working after school with children that were struggling with reading, behavioral issues, academics, and family dynamic challenges. Working with families in their home was rewarding and allowed Keith to have greater input on parent behavior. He was able to teach parents simple strategies they could use to help their students academically, behaviorally, and socially. He eventually added an online program.
When working with children that struggle to read, Keith takes into account his own journey and works hard to take away the frustration and even embarrassment the child may be feeling. Keith’s journey from troubled youth to award winning teacher inspires students. His experience as a struggling reader allows him to connect with the children he tutors.
Keith lives in North Carolina with Julia and their three children.