Episode 5 – Elizabeth Isralowitz


liz_headshot001“Failure doesn’t feel good, and we know that failure in school leads to a myriad of other consequences including psychopathology, depression, anxiety. Often time it leads to delinquent behaviors and it can impact a child’s social skills and ability to have friends as well… a child who is hitting is doing that for a reason. Maybe it’s because they know they don’t get what those things on the paper are, and maybe it’s because they just can’t communicate what they need. Or they haven’t learned the skills to even sit for five minutes…. For me looking at it at all ages, the biggest thing is that you have to look at the whole child. Even if it’s subtle, behavior and academics are always going to go hand in hand.” – Elizabeth Isralowitz

Fast Facts about Elizabeth

  1. Full name: Elizabeth Isralowitz, MA BCBA
  2. Years teaching:  10 years teaching, 3 years of clinical work and school administration (Behavior Specialist/Board Certified Behavior Analyst), over 20 years working with children with special needs
  3. Grades taught: Early Intervention to 22 years
  4. Current position: PhD student/graduate student researcher at University of California, Riverside: SEARCH Family Autism Resource Center
  5. Current city: Los Angeles and Riverside, CA
  6. Favorite books:
  7. Why teach? Every day is different, a triumph, a challenge, an accomplishment, and a chance to change the lives of children and their families.

Useful Resources Shared by Elizabeth!

Elizabeth is a wealth of knowledge and hopes to use Linkedin, in the new year to begin sharing some of her professional development workshops and intervention resources. If you found her podcast useful and informative, be sure to let her know in the comments below.

Episode 4 – Vanessa Donino


vanessadonino“I completely admire the profession of education more so than anything. Please don’t ever be discouraged … if you’re overwhelmed reach out to fellow educators who understand what you do because what we do is truly, truly noble!”

Fast Facts about Vanessa

  1. Full name: Vanessa Donino
  2. Years teaching: 3
  3. Grade(s) taught: 1st-3rd and Alternative High School
  4. Current position: Educator of Incarcerated Youth at Oneida County Prison
  5. Current city: Oriskany, NY
  6. Past cities Vanessa has taught in: Bronx, NY, Clark County, NV
  7. Why teach?: I teach because I want to help fight educational injustice and policies.
  8. Favorite books:
  9. Resource mentioned during podcast interview: Engage NY


Episode 3 – Melissa Asencio


melissaascencio“If you open yourself up and get yourself to a place where you’re putting everything out on the table and saying, ‘this is who I am as a person,’ they [your students] will show you their cards too.” – Melissa Asencio

Fast Facts about Melissa

  1. Full Name: Melissa Asencio
  2. Years teaching: 16 years in total, with 12 spent as a lead teacher and four in administration or other educational capacity
  3. Grades taught: 6th-11th grade in all core subject areas. Melissa has also taught adult education as well.
  4. Current Position: 8th Grade English Teacher
  5. Why teach: I teach because I know it makes a difference
  6. Favorite books:

*Another fast fact about Melissa is that she hid out in her car from her two young children during this interview, leaving them inside with their dad in order to take the time to chat with teachers uninterrupted. She was also so determined to her commitment to this interview that she continued on despite a cold that made her voice, “sound like a man…” as she adeptly put it. Thank you Melissa!