I graduated from the University of Cincinnati in 2010 with a Bachelor's Degree in Spanish and Anthropology, with a minor in Latin American Studies. I completed a Master's Degree in Spanish Literature at UC the following year. Upon graduation, I was employed as a part-time Spanish Instructor through Cincinnati Spanish Academy for one year. I then spent three years working as the Director of Youth and Children's Ministries at Williamsburg United Methodist Church. I am currently teaching Spanish part-time to students grades 4-8 at Mercy Montessori Center in Cincinnati.
I am passionate about the Spanish language, and I believe learning it can be fun and easy.
University of Cincinnati-Main Campus - Bachelors, Spanish & Anthropology
University of Cincinnati-Main Campus - Masters, Spanish Literature
What is your teaching philosophy?
I believe learning Spanish can be fun and easy. I enjoy the challenge of discovering my students' unique learning style and presenting the subject material in the way that they learn best. I believe it is vital to take the time necessary for the student to grasp full comprehension of a topic before moving on to another. And, of course, practice makes perfect, so I encourage my students to practice speaking (with no fear of making mistakes) from the very beginning.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
In a first session with a student, I will ask questions about what the student is learning and how confident they feel in their understanding of each topic. After assessing the students' level and areas of focus, I will begin explaining the topics and providing sample exercises for the student and I to work through together.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
It is important for students to think for themselves and to practice figuring out aspects of the language that they have not previously encountered. Therefore, I encourage students to attempt to answer questions, even if they are not 100% certain of the correct response.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
I encourage students to keep the big picture in perspective when they are discouraged by an aspect of the learning process. I remind them what an asset it will be to them in the future to be bilingual, and how rewarding it is to be able to communicate with someone in a second language.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
I believe in the power of repetition. If a student is struggling with a specific skill or concept, I clearly explain the concept and ask them to demonstrate their understanding of it. When I see they are starting to grasp the concept, I ask them to utilize the skill in a variety of ways and numerous times, until they are confident that they can utilize the skill in any circumstance in which they encounter it.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
When a student is struggling with reading comprehension, I encourage them to try to translate what they are reading into English. That way they can compare the format of the Spanish language to that of the English language, a grammatical structure they are already familiar with. In doing so, they can see either the similarity between the two language structures, or they can see and understand the difference.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
I believe encouragement is the greatest tool in building confidence. A student can never be praised too much for trying to learn. Even if a student provides a wrong answer, it is still important to praise the effort, and then correct the error.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
The best way I have found to evaluate a student's needs is to try different teaching strategies, and see to which the student responds best. If a student is a visual learner, they will learn best when they can see pictures or the words written down. If the student is an auditory learner, it will be most important for the student to hear the teacher repeat keywords and sentences correctly. If a student is a kinesthetic learner, activities and motions will help them most.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
After I have evaluated the student's comprehension level, learning style, and areas needing focus, I plan activities based on what I believe the student will respond to best. If one method doesn't seem to be working, I will try another until I feel confident that the student comprehends the subject.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
If the student has a textbook or workbook that he or she uses in his or her regular classroom, we will start by taking a look at that, so that what we are studying coincides with what his or her regular teacher is teaching. In addition to that, I use paper, a writing utensil, and worksheets with practice activities. Laptops can be useful for extra practice, as there are many great resources online where students can practice skills they are learning.