The greatest gift I think that any person can give is knowledge, this can be in the form of experience or simple guidance. This is the reason why I became an educator. My certification is in Secondary Education Grade levels 8-12, English Language Arts. I have taught AP British Literature 12th Grade, American Literature 11th Grade, AP American Literature 11th Grade, English II 10th Grade, English I 9th Grade, Creative Writing 10th-12th Grade, English as a Second Language (ESL) 9th-12th Grade, and Reading 10th-12th Grade.
As an educator I have focused on getting students prepared for writing at the college level, to become critical readers, and well processed writers. I teach students respect for both language and literature (writing and reading).
I have a Masters of Science in psychology with a focus in adolescent studies. Aside from teaching high school English, I also have tutored Intro to Psychology, focusing on theories and applications. This survey course explores the foundations of psychology and how modern theories are applied overall.
My drive in teaching is to reassure students that it is a journey where challenges are faced and accomplishments are celebrated.
University of Houston - BS, Psychology/English
University of Phoenix - MS, Psychology
What is your teaching philosophy?
Learning is continuous regardless of the setting. Whether in the classroom or in meeting groups of the general public, my goal is to encourage thinking in rational ways, so that this can be applied in other, unfamiliar situations.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
First time encounters can be uncomfortable, so I try to not even make this an issue. Introducing ourselves and learning what goals are to be established helps. Also knowing each other's expectations aids in creating a positive rapport. Then from there, the fun of learning begins!!
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
Students need to feel that they can take the skills that they have learned and utilize them in other disciplines. The best way to do this is to start the student off with connecting to their interests. Utilizing that skill and applying that to an interest will help them retain the applied skill. Then, through scaffolding the student will feel confident and build a routine putting into practice all skills learned.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
Constant communication allows both student and teacher an understanding of where each person stands. If the students feels a lack of confidence, then, as the teacher, I will assure the student that though there are challenges, overcoming these skills and mastering them will be a HUGE step towards reaching the student's goal. My job is also to deter the student from feeling lost or a lack of understanding. Communication is key!
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
Looking at something at a different angle is how an artist perfects the masterpiece. The same can be said with learning new concepts. We simply need to step back and look at where the difficulty in learning came in. If it is something that we need to completely reteach, then this is an opportunity to apply something creative. Allowing the student to acknowledge their weakness opens a door to learning their strength.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
In assessing reading, there are few factors that need to be considered. First, I would ask the student what they see as something they are having difficulty with. Then, from there, I will change the reading material to something of their interest and see if the problem continues. If not, then I will slowly apply varied topics in literature. If I notice the problem even in an article of interest, then creating different skill levels may need to be taught while still reading the article of interest. Mini-assessments along the way will be applied regardless of skill learned or material being read.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
Having students communicate what they see as their weaknesses and strengths gives me a building foundation of what may help them learn new material. Once they have taken a personal assessment then I am able to continuously check for understanding with previous and gained skills.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
Students feed off of your energy, so if there is a way that you can expel your excitement on to them and make what it is that they are about to learn comical or apply it to their real world situations, they will become engaged.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
Having the student have the opportunity to become the teacher will allow me to see where the confusion lies, if any.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
In order to feel confident about a subject one must build a background knowledge on it, then be able to apply that. Doing this alone can cause doubt. Letting the student know that the teacher will be there at all times helps the student build the confidence they need, knowing that they are not alone and can do this!
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
By doing a lot of checking for understanding, the teacher can see where the student is in comprehending the material. Another important thing is communication; this not only helps the student, but it also allows the teacher to know if there are re-teachable moments.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
Each learner has a different way of understanding new material. By building a professional rapport, I will have a better sense of what weaknesses and strengths we need to focus on. Also, by making the lesson seem student-focused, the student can recognize themselves how relevant the material is.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
Aside from using a whiteboard, the student's material, PowerPoint notes, Prezi, and emailing, basically anything electronic. Communication is an important tool in tutoring.