Every student is capable of learning. Our inclination toward certain subjects often comes more as a product of what we were introduced to and made most comfortable early on. But just because something else is difficult for us, does not mean it is impossible. When it comes to education and learning, and my role i that process, it is my job to break down the walls and barriers that stop our students from fully accessing the material we are asking them to master. This can be as simple as reviewing a formula and running drills, to going all the way back to fundamentals and clearing up a misconception that has hindered their understanding throughout their academic careers. However the key to all of this success lies not just in my identification and push. You too have to believe that you are intelligent, capable and ready. With that attitude and hard work, we can reach any goal to which we truly aspire to reach, both in our education, and in our lives.
University of Southern California - Bachelors, Cinematic Arts
Hunter College - Masters, Education
High School English
Study Skills and Organization
What is your teaching philosophy?
All students can learn! A struggling student simply has not yet found a way to access the material. It is MY responsibility to help every student find their own key to open the door.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
First things first, I need to know what that student is interested in outside of school. Second, what subjects are they strong in and why? From there, we will dig into where their struggles lie.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
I think a large part of this is helping a student tap into what they DO know, and how that knowledge can be used to figure out the answer. My job is to help fill in the gaps in your process, so that you can continue to move forward independently in the future.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
I think everyone gets burned out sometimes. We have to be reminded that we are capable of continuing to be learners. There's nothing wrong with needing a break sometimes. But we have to remember that we are capable of more than we even sometimes believe ourselves possible of.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
First and foremost, I want him/her to explain what they DO understand about the concept or the skill. We first have to identify and correct the misconceptions, and then build upon what we do know to make this skill or concept a part of our active learning process, and not merely a gray spot.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
The first push would be to identify at what level the student reads independently. I would then aim to find a text just above that and work through it with him/her, working on various techniques, such as questioning, annotating, summarizing, etc., to strengthen their understanding of the process a good reader goes through in order to comprehend a text.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
Aside from general "get to know you" techniques that help to find ways to make the work accessible to the student, I also like to do a few assessment exercises. This lets me know the student's initial strengths and weaknesses to utilize and work on.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
Every subject can be engaging if a student has an access point. Very often it becomes a real-world connection. I like to find ways to tie in their interests or current events to make a difficult idea part of their everyday life.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
I believe there's always more than one way to find the answer. I will employ various methods for a problem, hoping for one to click. Step-by-step processes will be put in play to access material, and real-world examples will be applied, as well as mnemonic devices when necessary. I'm also open, depending on the technology available, to using things such as video clips and images, which I believe can be very helpful in employing and understanding concepts.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
When we talk through our thoughts, we are often able to find that we know much more than we think we do, and occasionally even know the answer. One way to build confidence is to show a student how much he or she DOES know. Just because you miss a step doesn't mean you are incapable. We always have to remember how far we have come. There was a point in time when we could not speak or walk. But after MONTHS of effort, eventually we got there, just as we can with any troubling subject.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
I like to implement basic assessments that show where the misunderstanding may be. Once I highlight the struggle, I like to go directly toward them, breaking down where EXACTLY the struggle is through both written and oral assessment.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
Every student is different. Different reading levels, math levels, and learning styles all need to be met through a use of different materials. In recognizing these differences, I attempt to bring materials, and even adjust my own examples in teaching to ones that are most relatable and comprehensible for the student.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
I always use examples for us to go through together and for the student to attempt independently. I also like to bring in additional supplements that push the student to go further if possible, remediate potential struggles, and bring in other ways that seemingly do not relate for the student to use as lenses through which to approach the material.