I have always loved education and learning. I enjoy learning new facts every day. I am currently a part-time preschool teacher, but I have my elementary teaching license. I love teaching, because I think there is something so powerful about an educated person. My mom used to always tell me something that my great grandpa used to say to her, "there are two things in life that no one can ever take from you: your faith and your education." Those words have stuck with me through the years and I feel so honored and blessed to pass on any knowledge I can to students. I am passionate about education and believe that everyone has the ability to learn anything they want to when they are encouraged and motivated to do so.
Johnson & Wales University-Denver - Bachelors, Hotel Management
Jones International University - Masters, K-12 Education
ACT Math: 31
What is your teaching philosophy?
I believe that teachers are more than educators. They are motivators and supporters of their students. Teaching is such a beautiful occupation because it is one person motivating and encouraging another person to be better than they already are.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
The first tutoring session should be used as a tool to get to know the student: who they are, what they like, what they do not like, how they learn best, and what motivates them. These are all tools that can be used to help them throughout the next tutoring sessions. If I can establish a level of trust and a more personal relationship with the student in the first meeting then the likelihood of them trusting me to help them is much greater.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
To help a student become an independent learner it is important to understand what they see as success and what they want to accomplish. As a teacher or tutor, I am just there as a guide and motivator. They are doing all of the work; I am just providing the tools and the support they need to understand the information they are struggling with.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
To help a student stay motivated it is important to understand what motivates them. If a student really enjoys Legos, then maybe I ask them to bring a set of their favorite Legos to the session. When we finish a certain number of problems, then the student can have 5 minutes to play with those Legos. Or, I can incorporate those Legos into my lesson so that it is something that the student relates to.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
If a student is having trouble learning a concept, I think the first step is to take a break. We would need to take a walk or just step away from the problem all together. Then, after about 5 minutes have passed, we can come back to the subject and try to come at it in a different manner. For example, if a student is a very visual learner and they are stuck on a math problem, I would try to use some sort of visual cues or manipulatives to help them understand the concept. It is important to also teach the student how to stay calm when they do not understand something and to just take their time working through the problem one step at a time.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
For those students struggling with reading comprehension, flow charts, character charts, underlining, highlighting, asking questions, and retelling the story are all ways that I have tried in the past to encourage students to look at the story in a different way. Sometimes acting out the story helps students, but the most important thing to remember is that each student is different. It is my job to encourage them and figure out what works best for them before we even begin trying to grasp the concept of the story.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
I find that visual cues are the most successful for students when I first begin working with them. Using a variety of colors to describe different steps or using physical objects to show relevance really helps students understand the problem as well as gives them a picture of what is going on.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
To encourage a student to get excited about a subject they are struggling with, it is important to first understand what their interests are and what motivates them. After finding out this information, I can use their interests and try to incorporate them into a subject that they may be struggling with. For example, if a student loves basketball, maybe I could meet them at a basketball court and for every question they answered correctly they would be able to take a shot. This way, they were combining something they love with something that is not their favorite subject. Hopefully that keeps them motivated to keep working on the subject they do not understand so they get the reward of doing what they love.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
To be sure that a student understands the material that they are given, I would use a variety of testing methods. I would try written tests and oral tests to see just how well they are understanding the information. I am also a huge fan of projects because I think they allow the student to be creative in how they present the information they are learning about.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
Building a student's confidence in a subject can be a delicate task. It is important to help them understand that if they are struggling with one subject they are not a complete failure at everything else. To help build confidence, I would try to develop an understanding of what they are passionate about or what they enjoy to see if I could incorporate that into the lessons. Once that has been determined, I think it is super important, that as the educator, I just keep encouraging them and being patient with them as they work through each problem in the subject. Also, letting the student take breaks when they are struggling and giving them techniques to work through their frustrations can help them overcome their struggle with a specific subject.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
To evaluate a student's needs, it is important to have an open dialogue with them and their parents to determine what the real struggle is. Also, I am a huge fan of goal setting and think it is so important in maintaining a student's confidence across a variety of subjects. Establishing goals gives students a tangible outcome that they know they can achieve. Goal setting also outlines what they need to do to accomplish that goal. Goal setting and having an open dialogue with the student are great ways to first evaluate a student's needs, but I would also do some testing to see exactly what they were struggling with understanding. This would give me tangible results that I could then use later on in our tutoring sessions to show them how much progress they have made.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
I adapt my tutoring and teaching style to what the student needs by first determining what their needs are, what kind of a learner they are, and what motivates them. From here, we would set goals together and design a roadmap to achieve those goals. I am there as a supporter, so it is important that I use what motivates the student and use techniques that help them best understand the subject matter they are studying.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
I like to use a lot of visual props in a tutoring session, because it gives the kids something more to look at besides words on a page. I also like to incorporate relaxation techniques into the session because they help students stay calm and focused. These relaxation techniques simply include taking deep breaths, taking a quick break, taking a walk, drawing a picture, or anything to get their mind off of the subject for 5 minutes to help them relax and work through their frustrations.