Hi! My name is Terri and I am a mom of a couple of high energy, sweet and funny kids. I grew up in Southern California and then moved to London at 17 years old for church leadership training program. I loved it in London and stayed for the next 10 years. I met my husband there and went to the University of East London and got my BA in Psychosocial Studies and her Master’s in International Social Work and Community Development Studies. While at University, I worked as a teacher at an Alternative School in London for high risk youth and was also a counselor running a drop in service in a number of local London schools.
I worked with LifeLine Network International for several years as Business Development Coordinator, working with international development organizations in over 16 countries. She was Project Manager for all external grants and had wonderful opportunities to visit Sierra Leone and Zimbabwe through that job. When I came back to the USA in 2009, I became a volunteer Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) for Adams and Broomfield Counties, supporting children who have been abused or neglected. I then became a Social Worker, working in both Intake and Ongoing Services at Arapahoe County Human Services in 2013. In 2015, I began working with the City and County of Denver as an IT Project Manager.
This year, I am excited to spend more time at home with my kids getting the opportunity to work with children and young people at Varsity Tutors. I have a passion for learning, helping people discover their full potential and seeing the joy on someone’s face when they have conquered a personal challenge.
University of East London - BA, Psychosocial Studies
University of East London - MA, International Social Work and Community Development
What is your teaching philosophy?
I believe that everyone is able to learn, so when a student is struggling, it's about thinking outside the box and finding out how that student best learns. The most important part is not giving up and trying different things until it clicks!
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
I like to find out more about the student, who they are, their interests, and what their expectations and hopes are for the tutoring sessions.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
It's okay to make mistakes, and it's okay to try out lots of different strategies. I like to help students discover how they will best learn and let them start to lead the way.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
Achievable goals and appreciating every success, even the small ones. Small successes are what add up to big achievements.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
Don't just keep trying the same thing over and over. Get creative; try new strategies and keep trying!
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
I find it best to personalize it to the student's interest and needs. Going in with a flexible plan and finding out exactly what works for that individual is what has worked best for me.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
Find out what they like about it, or what successes they have had it in. Focus on achievable goals and celebrate the successes!
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
Don't just use written tests to test comprehension. Have discussions, get creative, and see how deep the knowledge goes.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
Recognize the progress and praise them for it! Get a student to recognize their own progress. Stay positive!
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
Through written work, discussion, and activities. Also, most importantly, communication with the student themselves!
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
Flexible learning plans that account for their own personal learning styles, interests, and preferences.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
Depending on the subject and the student, I use written materials, discussion, questions, as well as videos and music, as appropriate.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
Practice, along with discussion and creativity. Just repeating or answering questions doesn't always work. You can turn the stories upside down and find lots of tricks and tips to help remember things.