Teaching has always been a part of my life. One could even say it's part of the family business. Both my parents, a brother and several aunts and uncles are all in the education field -- so it certainly runs in the family.
I have always valued education -- not only for how important one can be from a professional standpoint, but from a personal one as well. There are few things more satisfying than seeing a student's eyes light up when they get that 'Eureka!' moment of understanding the subject material.
My primary prior education experience was working at an inner-city charter school in Cleveland, Ohio. For two years I served as a one-on-one aide for an elementary-age student with high-functioning autism. His unique abilities and the way he perceived the world required me to become very creative in my teaching methods.
I can say with pride that with a lot of work and dedication from both the student and myself that he never fell behind in his classwork. Indeed he became actively engaged in the learning process. (Telling him to give the other students a chance to answer the question was a good problem to have!)
While at the charter school, which was K-8, I also had ample opportunity to substitute teach every grade level, covering pretty much every subject in the Common Core curriculum. Substituting also allowed me to expand upon subjects once the material left by the teacher was completed, allowing students the opportunity to ask questions about topics and subjects that interested them.
I really think if one shows a passion for learning, that passion can be passed on to a student. I know from personal experience that learning is much easier if the subject is something that one finds interesting. The trick, of course, is to make any subject or assignment interesting to the student -- and that's something I feel very strongly that I bring to the table.
While my primary experience is grades K-8, I also have a high level of competence in the social sciences, as well as English/composition for high school and even college courses.
Cuyahoga Community College District - Current Undergrad, Associate of Arts
What is your teaching philosophy?
One of the guiding principles of my teaching philosophy is to not 'talk-down' to a student. Children are people, and they should be spoken to with the same level of respect and maturity as any adult. I have found that students who don't feel patronized are much more receptive to anything an instructor has to say. This approach also has the added benefit of fostering a sense of collaboration that makes the student an active, rather than a passive participant in the learning process. Indeed, it is that sense of collaboration that allows the student to learn to ask the right questions, and to think critically. The great benefit of individual instruction is that each student's own needs can be met case-by-case, and the approach I use to instruct them can be modulated to fit their unique skills, interests, aptitude and attitude.