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Sonjanita

I have worked with Chicago area youth as an educator/facilitator since 1995 - facilitating direct instruction coursework for youth in private, public, and alternative educational settings; as well as, with non-profit organizations and three area museums. I also have over seventeen years of experience creating educational resources and curricula for private, public, alternative, and charter schools; as well as, non-profit organizations. My favorite subjects to tutor are English Language Arts, Writing, Reading, Social Studies, History, Humanities, and Literature. English Language Arts is my area of specialty because I love Writing and Literature, but I also have a love for World History, the humanities and global cultures; therefore, the Social Sciences are my second favorite content area. I love traveling, creative writing, and historical research. In particular, the study of ancient civilizations of the Americas and Africa. Being privileged to study these and other cultures through personal and academic research through the use of primary texts and travel explorations has heightened my interest in these subjects.

While I emphasize student-centered instruction (with ample opportunities for differentiation, modeling and scaffolding), I am also a firm believer in the inter-generational transmission of knowledge. Teachers/tutors/learning facilitators have just as much to learn from their students as the students do from them, especially as it relates to the use of new media technologies. All children can learn! All children are intelligent! My job is to help them feel secure in who they are as students and as individuals; while working to build their love of learning.

I am a lifelong learner that enjoys working with Pre-K through adult learners. I currently hold an Ed.S degree in Administration & Supervision from National Louis University, an M.Ed in Curriculum and Instructional Technology from Grand Canyon University, an M.A. in Education from Northeastern Illinois University and a B.A. in English from the University of Illinois at Chicago. I also hold certificates in Master Teaching of English Language Arts subjects (Type 09, grades 6-12), Administration & Supervision (Type 75, grades K12), Well-Managed Classroom Consultancy and English Language Teaching (TESOL/TEFL).

Undergraduate Degree:

 University of IL - Chicago - BA, English

Graduate Degree:

 National Louis University - Ed.S, Administration and Supervision

Certification:
 State Certified Teacher
I love traveling, creative writing, and historical research.

10th Grade Reading

10th Grade Writing

11th Grade Reading

11th Grade Writing

12th Grade Reading

12th Grade Writing

1st Grade Reading

1st Grade Writing

2nd Grade Reading

2nd Grade Writing

3rd Grade Reading

3rd Grade Writing

4th Grade Reading

4th Grade Writing

5th Grade Reading

5th Grade Writing

6th Grade Reading

6th Grade Writing

7th Grade Reading

7th Grade Writing

8th Grade Reading

8th Grade Writing

9th Grade Reading

9th Grade Writing

ACT Aspire Prep

Adult Literacy

African-American History

American Literature

Basic Computer Literacy

Business

Business Writing

CLEP Prep

CLEP Analyzing and Interpreting Literature

College Application Essays

College Business

College English

College Level American History

College Level American Literature

Comparative Literature

COMPASS Reading Prep

COMPASS Writing Skills Prep

Creative Writing

Elementary School Reading

Elementary School Writing

Expository Writing

Fiction

Fiction Writing

High School Business

High School English

High School Level American History

High School Level American Literature

High School World History

High School Writing

Homeschool

Homework Support

Introduction to Fiction

Introduction to Poetry

Middle School Reading

Middle School Reading Comprehension

Middle School Writing

Other

Persuasive Writing

Poetry

Poetry Writing

Shakespeare

Short Novel

Social Networking

Social Sciences

Study Skills

Study Skills and Organization

Summer

Technology and Computer Science

US Constitutional History

World Civilization

World Literature

What is your teaching philosophy?

While I emphasize student-centered instruction (with ample opportunities for differentiation, modeling, and scaffolding), I am also a firm believer in the intergenerational transmission of knowledge. Teachers/tutors/learning facilitators have just as much to learn from their students as the students do from them, especially as it relates to the use of new media technologies. Everyone can learn! Everyone is intelligent! My job is to help them feel secure in who they are as students and as individuals, while working to build their love of learning. I am a lifelong learner who enjoys working with Pre-K through adult learners.

What might you do in a typical first session with a student?

I start all sessions and classes (when I'm teaching in a classroom or at a PD) with activities designed to get to know my clients. This builds rapport and helps me to know how to help them reach their learning goals.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

Part of being an independent learner is having pride and confidence in yourself and in your abilities. Each session includes time to check in with the client to establish goals, create an action plan, and evaluate success.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

Setting SMART goals with realistic deadlines for completion has been the best way to support students, in addition to moral support and praise.

If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?

I believe the gradual release model is a good strategy to use in this case (I DO, WE DO, YOU DO). After gaining an understanding of the assignment, we talk and strategize how to best complete the task. If instruction is needed before beginning, I come ready to demonstrate the skill, practice it with the client, and then facilitate the client practicing the skill. This is why pre-session emails are important, because then I can ascertain what's needed in the subsequent sessions.

What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?

Establish rapport by learning about their likes, dislikes, and favorite/least favorite subjects. I ask questions about the class or tests they're taking - how they feel about it and how I can best help them.

How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?

Check for fluency and comprehension concerns, and then adjust the teaching accordingly.

How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?

I always start sessions by getting to know the student - their interests, likes, dislikes, and concerns as far as school is concerned. I try to also infuse some sort of incentive either alone or in collaboration with parents/guardians, when possible.

What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?

Review: prior knowledge, lower level materials or concepts previously studied. Focus: Drills with current concepts + assessment of learning. Stretch: When ready, encouraging students to try the next level of a concept.