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Martina-Alexandra

I'm a recent UCLA graduate with a B.A. in English. I have been working with students for the past two years; meeting with students daily as a student counselor in UCLA's Community Programs Office this past year, and improving the reading and vocabulary skills of preschoolers through Americorps' Jumpstart program the year before. Through my training, I have learned how to communicate effectively with students and how to help them prioritize their learning. I am passionate about building students' confidence and guiding them to success both in and out of the classroom. I especially love formulating and editing essays, research papers, and personal statements for college applications!

Undergraduate Degree:

 UCLA - Bachelors, English

cooking and baking, watching documentaries, live comedy, visiting museums and California landmarks

CAHSEE ELA

College English

Comparative Literature

High School English

Persuasive Writing

What is your teaching philosophy?

I believe that a student should be guided to the correct answer rather than simply told. A teacher should never talk over a student, but instead listen to them and give them the help they need to reach their answer on their own.

What might you do in a typical first session with a student?

I would introduce myself, provide a few fun facts, and ask my student to do the same. I am very interested in the student as a person, and seeing what their personality is like will help me understand what their learning style is like.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

I prefer to ask open-ended questions rather than yes or no questions in order to help the student think for themselves.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

I would remind a student that each step they take in their education may feel like a small step to them at the time, but it is actually a huge stride in terms of achieving their long-term goals of attending college.

How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?

I would relate the subject to what I know about their life outside of school. A connection between schoolwork and extracurriculars can help engage students.

What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?

Asking students multi-faceted questions about the material allows you to gauge their understanding.

How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?

I support my students in non-superficial ways. Rather than saying "good job" when a student does something correctly, I point out to them what they did well and ask them to walk me through their thought process. This gives them the power of their learning rather than me.

How do you evaluate a student's needs?

I observe how they talk about the subject, whether it's something they care about but just can't understand or something they completely hate. I also note how they react throughout our first session, and tutor accordingly when we meet again.

What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?

Pen, paper, a book if it is needed for a student's project or paper, and some snacks for brain food!

If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?

I would investigate this difficulty deeper by asking questions related to the skill or concept, how it was originally taught to them, and what aspect of it is the most difficult to grasp.

How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?

I encourage students to read aloud to themselves in order to hear the words they are reading and apply their meaning more quickly. I also urge students to annotate their text, highlighting words or phrases they don't understand in order to look them up, as well as highlighting parts of the text they enjoy the most.

What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?

Getting to know a student's life outside of the classroom helps pinpoint why they might be having difficulties with certain subjects. Every student learns differently, comes from a different background, has a different personality, and should be tutored accordingly.