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Sandra

Helping students to succeed while enjoying learning is a personal joy. It adds value to my life to help others grow through education and understanding.

Undergraduate Degree:

 Texas A&M University-CC - BA, Emglish

Graduate Degree:

 University of Houston - MS, Education

art, swimming, singing, music

1st Grade Reading

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

British Literature

Comparative Literature

Creative Writing

Elementary School Reading

Elementary School Writing

Handwriting

Middle School Reading

Middle School Writing

What is your teaching philosophy?

My teaching philosophy is to show students how their innate curiosity can be peaked for any subject matter, so they can feel excited about growing their ideas and dreams.

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

In a typical first session, I like to open a dialogue so we can get to know what we bring to our sessions. I invite students to tell me about their experiences with their subject matter and what they need. I look for how they feel and think about their tutoring or subject matter to glean an idea of how best to approach learning.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

By pointing out learning techniques employed throughout our sessions and allowing them to mirror those experiences in tutoring, I can help students learn to use simple question and answer teaching techniques to solve their own problems.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

Motivation is energized with intermittent breaks to talk about how the student is feeling and how they perceive what they are learning as applied to long range goals. Sometimes, with small children, it's fun to take breaks and have a quick story time adventure, especially if we're studying Language Arts and incorporating what we're learning. With older students, we can apply ideas to real life. When students relate real life to their subject matter, it's fun and relevant!

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

I pause and ask the student to tell me in their own words what they find problematic or confusing. We'd put it into simple, real words, and then I would identify the exact area of confusion. Then, we'd begin a simple backtrack to review some previous building blocks leading to the problem, and I'd paint the picture using the material in a simple to understand method (often by isolating and practicing the isolated steps for reinforcement before introducing them into the larger scope of subject matter learning). I always evaluate along the way, and the student is always free to tell me what they are thinking. We get through lessons and learn together!

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

Struggles with reading comprehension should be first identified with respect to reading level mastery. Proper reading levels should be used to provide review of comprehension components. This usually involves "chunking" information, auditory learning, and using different vocabulary words to speak to the child's comprehension level. Allowing and prompting students to retell in their own words helps them to reinforce cognitive understanding while allowing the tutor to monitor progress. It's also important to always ask students what they are struggling with in their own words and encourage this discourse while applying enrichment and evaluation in this area. Both student and tutor hold the keys to mastering reading comprehension.

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

The best strategies I have found are inherent in the area of interpersonal relationships. The dynamic positivity to start off on the right foot is first invited by getting to know the student, how they feel about starting tutoring and what they hope to achieve. It's also important for them to be prompted to tell the tutor about their past struggles with the content or subject matter and how that affects them, followed by allowing them to use their imagination to tell how they would rather see themselves in the future. This knowledge is crucial for the tutor in order to establish a positive symbiotic relationship with respect to the sessions. Every session should begin with a friendly, warm question of how their day went and how their subject area is progressing. Overviews often help set the tone and key the tutor on how to guide the session or understand new issues that arise.

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

I like to proverbially paint pictures using the subject matter. Creative thinking to put the learning components into something they think is fun is my approach. No student is the same, and sometimes incorporating a bit of personal creative learning or real-life application is great. Engaging in such creative learning while incorporating learning components enriches a student's time and can provide them with a new way to see the subject, and, sometimes, life. This can become a real life growing opportunity!

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

Consistent evaluation through tutoring sessions is crucial, as well as quizzes and tests to ensure mastery is being attained is one technique. Asking them to explain what they are understanding in their own words is another technique. Utilizing these strategies together, along with periodic interventions of reviews and enrichment, are the basic techniques I use consistently. Identifying proper materials to use is another technique.

How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?

Finding things a student loves to do and is passionate about is how I build confidence. We all excel in certain areas of our lives, and we all have a passion for doing certain things (swimming, math, art, music). I like to remind students that we all have greatness within us, and we all sometimes have challenges too. It only means we're adding to our greatness, and together we continue our ascent as rising stars.

How do you evaluate a student's needs?

I like to talk to parents first, and then speak with the student to hear their story. Based on both of these things, including any notes in the current report card is the first step. Sometimes, a cursory lesson or two might reveal the need to go back for review/mastery, and sometimes it tells us we need to merely work on some learning components.

How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?

I like to adapt my tutoring to my student's needs based upon the areas of learning components that cause them the greatest challenges. I adapt with consistency to match learning curves or changes needed, and evaluate along the way.

What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?

Uploads or whiteboards if online, and worksheets and books if one-on-one. If additional materials can be utilized to enrich tutoring, I seek them out to integrate.