I am a graduate of Columbus State University. After attending college I began my teaching career, I taught middle school student for the next five years. The last nine years I have taught at the high school level where I have taught various history courses including Advanced Placement in all of the following: United States History, World History, and European History.
I became a teacher because I wanted a job that did not fell like a job everyday with a rigid routine. What I have learned over the years is that each group of students is unique and I most enjoy the end of they year when we can reflect on the journey they took to achieve their success. I am most proud when my students tell me that I made them understand History and they previously saw themselves as bad history students. The reality is history is meaningful to everyone, but it is the teacher's responsibility to help the students make the connections bringing the past to life.
Columbus State University - Bachelors, Secondary Education History
Columbus State University - Masters, Masters: Learning Disability Specialists: Leadership 2005
AP US History
College Level American History
College World History
High School Level American History
High School World History
Study Skills and Organization
US Constitutional History
What is your teaching philosophy?
I believe in helping students find a path which turns them into lifetime learners. This has been my philosophy for the last fourteen years. As my career has progressed my students have taught me, in order for me to make them want to be a lifetime learner, they must be interested in learning. I often hear students say they do not like to read. I love to hear this because I now have the opportunity to discuss what interests them and show them they do like to read-- they just have not been reading what they enjoy. In my classroom I relate history to modern times so students understand the relevance of history in their lives. For example, a patriotic student can be won over to studying Rome when they are able to see the relationship of the American government to the Roman Republic and Empire.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
I would begin by assessing the student's need and requirements of the class. At that point I would be able to tailor the tutoring session to the student. For a student wanting to prepare for a test, I would review the topic by asking the student questions guiding them to identify the specifics and relevance of the historical subject matter. For students who are struggling on tests or quizzes, I would look at an old test with them to find what specifically is challenging them in the class. I would end the sessions by asking the students to identify 3 things they learned, two items they found interesting, and one item they still have questions over. This would help me to assess if the student had been helped during our session.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
Students often do not know how to study, and once they understand how to attack a subject they can become independent learners. I believe in using guiding questions to help lead the student to the answer rather than just give the student the answer. Students also need help finding resources that can help them study.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
I like to use encouragement and remind students of their successes to help them stay motivated and not feel overwhelmed.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
This is dependent upon the student's learning disability. Students with learning disabilities often need information to be broken down in smaller pieces than regular students. For example, students with a reading disability may need to use a sheet of paper to cover up the text they are not reading immediately.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
I would break the reading into smaller sections checking for understanding. If they had a problem skipping around sometimes placing a sheet of paper over the text helps the student to focus on the current sentence. I would also check for understanding asking the student questions about the passage. Fluency can also be an issue with reading, so I would check the student's fluency.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
I like to find a student's interest and strength to help teach them. In my class I use murals for my artistic students to help them find ways to represent historical concepts through their interests.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
In history a good story based on the historical concept which ties into the interest of the student can help students to become engaged.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
I would use the Socratic Method of questioning the student to check for understanding. Requesting the students to write a tweet over the topic often makes them laugh and helps review key points.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
To boost a student's confidence I tier questions I know they will be able to answer before asking more difficult questions. Then I progressively guide the students to the answers through questions complimenting their answers as we progress.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
I would review any articles they have from the class which they feel they need help understanding. I would also ask about the requirements of the class and ask the student where they feel they need assistance.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
Tying the subject to the student's interest or hobbies shows the best results in helping students to understand concepts. This requires getting to know the student as a person, not just what they would like to get help with in the subject.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
I typically use presentations I have on the subject, but I would tailor this to the needs of the students. There are many resources online that will help the student check for understanding or review information. Knowing a student's learning style helps to find appropriate resources. I enjoy finding political cartoons or memes to introduce a topic.