After graduating from Illinois State University in 2007 with a bachelor’s degree in elementary education, I found my “home” at a large, urban junior high where I still teach today. In addition to being a 7th and 8th grade math teacher, I am also a Lead Teacher at my school, a member of my district’s Leadership Team, and an independent contractor with a prestigious university, where I facilitate and lead professional development seminars for other math teachers. I also have many years of experience in tutoring students in science, social studies, and organization/study skills.
During my time at my school I have discovered my passion for making mathematics accessible and appropriately challenging for all students. Every student is different, and I pride myself in my ability to tailor my lessons and methods of instruction to meet each student’s individual strengths and needs. It is my personal goal to make kids see that math is interesting, not scary, and that it is OK to struggle with it sometimes. The way that we learned math when we were in school years ago is drastically different from how I run my classroom and tutoring sessions. I encourage conversations about math, use of manipulatives and games, and I even encourage productive struggle! I use strategic questioning and visuals to guide my students through their struggle to help them realize with some hard work and focus, they can and will understand the material.
Learning is fun and finally grasping that concept that has boggled your mind for so long is an extremely satisfying feeling! I look forward to working with your family and passing my love of learning along to your children.
Illinois State University - BA, Elementary Education
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
I could go into great detail about this topic, but to keep it short here is a list of possibilities: 1. Help them start to develop a growth mindset. 2. Coach them on how to use available resources to answer their own questions. 3. Help students with difficult problems by asking guiding questions, as opposed to "telling" them how to solve it. 4. Strengthen their ability to advocate for themselves in the classroom by forming specific questions, as opposed to just saying "I don't get it."