Interview with Two Education Experts – NILD Conference Guest Speakers

We are delighted to have Dr. Christina Belcher and Shari Pyle speaking at our upcoming conference: Engaging the Mind for Cognitive Change, April 21, 22, 2017 at Tyndale University College, Toronto, ON. Both of these guest speakers draw on a wealth of experience in the field of education and are excited to share their knowledge with us. We asked them to share a bit about themselves in a recent email interview.


Dr. Christina Belcher

  1. Share a bit about where you have taught as a classroom teacher and as a professor.
    I began my teaching career in public elementary schools in the Kingston, Ontario area, and then taught for 13 years in Owen Sound, Ontario. I also served as a Master Teacher of Language Arts for OACS (Ontario Alliance of Christian Schools) in Ontario during the 1990’s. I have taught grades K-8 in various subjects during my career, and worked with early tertiary students age 16 and up in New Zealand. From 1997 onward, I taught in Teacher Education in New Zealand, Australia, British Columbia, Canada and am now Professor and Chair of the Department of Education at Redeemer University College in Ancaster, Ontario. 
  2. What experiences as a classroom teacher spurred you on to ongoing pursuit of the field of education? 

    I began to realize that if I, or society at large, wanted to see any changes in educational practice, it began with the teacher – and often, with the training of teachers. I felt that I had met my goals for implementation in my own elementary practice and accepted the life long learning and opportunity Higher Education provided. Through a series of events, I ended up going to New Zealand to work in Higher Education in 1997, and began working on a second Masters degree, and then my PhD at that time. 

  3. Why are you excited about presenting at NILD Canada’s upcoming conference? 

    I believe that educators need to be involved with the needs of the greater educational body, and larger society, within and beyond one’s vocational specialty. I have had numerous opportunities to work with and teach courses pertaining to the field of learning disability in all of its many colours. These experiences have enriched me, and made me a better teacher to others. Such experiences have also assisted in bringing more attention to areas of inclusion/exclusion within institutional structures and society as a whole. I often feel that educators are not well informed regarding other bodies of society that are doing good work beyond their own sphere of accountability, and working with others helps to bridge that gap. Education is a relational enterprise, and we all benefit by being life long learners.

Shari Pyle

  1. Share a bit about where you have taught as a classroom teacher and as a professor. 

    I currently hold a Master of Science in Health Science, a license as an NILD Professionally Certified Educational Therapist, an IDA Certified Dyslexia Therapist, and Feuerstein Institute Cognitive Mediator (Standard I-III). 

  2. What experiences as a classroom teacher spurred you on to ongoing pursuit of the field of education? 

    Though I began my career the first ten years as an adult health educator and college adjunct professor, I have spent the last 18 years working and studying within the educational therapy field. As I moved up and down the United States’ east coast with my military husband and our family, I was blessed with many opportunities to practice educational therapy in different private schools, as a private practice, and for NILD’s Discovery Program, Inc. (DPI). While working with DPI, I was provided with unique opportunities to enhance my skills by participating in not-yet-released, proto-type courses, such as Group Educational Training, Rx for Discovery Reading, and Feuerstein Instrumental Enrichment. These rewarding experiences fueled my love for learning and enriched my understanding of the learning process. 

  3. Why are you excited about presenting at NILD Canada’s upcoming conference? 

    For four years, in addition to my private practice as an ET and cognitive mediator, I’ve had the opportunity to work with NILD US on curriculum development, such as the Rx 4 Discovery Math, Time 4 Discovery Math, Rx for Discovery Writing programs, and NILD’s newest course training, Telepractice; as well as, co-author the Mediating Math Student Workbooks. In addition to being an NILD conference presenter, I also teach Rx for Discovery Reading, Rx 4 Discovery Math, Rx for Discovery Writing, Telepractice, and Level 1 Educational Therapy. I’ve instructed a variety of group sizes of both educational therapist and classroom teachers, in person and live through a virtual-conference platform. 

    My passion has been to not only help students who struggle to learn, but I’ve also loved sharing knowledge with my fellow therapist, educators, and parents. I’ve been fortunate to receive training by the best of the best, and I look forward to sharing new insights with each of you.

Diane Geerlinks

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4 Responses to “Interview with Two Education Experts – NILD Conference Guest Speakers”

  1. Nancy D Jessen March 4, 2017 at 5:23 PM #

    I love what you are doing in Canada. Keep up the great work!! It’s a blessing to see you continue to meet the needs of learners in your area!! My prayers are with you!!

  2. Angela Pawluczuk March 6, 2017 at 9:29 PM #

    Good day!! Thank you for sharing the background of these two conference speakers. I have never attended any NILD events, but would like to know more about this upcoming conference. You may reach me at
    God Bless you


  1. Annual Conference - 5 Reasons to Attend NILD's Conference - March 11, 2017

    […] Connect personally with our guest speakers: Dr. Christina Belcher and Shari Pyle. This is your chance to ask questions because they are experts in the field of education. You can read email interviews we did with them here. […]

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