I wanted to be a teacher for as long as I can remember! I earned my degree in Early Childhood Education with a Reading Endorsement from the University of Akron. I went on to earn my Master’s degree from Kent State University in Clinical Mental Health. In addition to being a teacher, I am a licensed therapist. I currently work with students in grades K-5. I taught 3rd grade (8 years), kindergarten, and preschool.
I enjoy working with students in all grade levels and have discovered, no matter the student’s grade level they all have something special to offer and great potential to learn. I understand that not all students learn the same way and have found success helping students to understand how they learn best. I think it is important to understand how a student learns before you can effectively teach the student.
The University of Akron - Bachelors, Elementary Education with Reading Endorsement
Kent State University at Kent - Masters, Clinical Mental Health
What is your teaching philosophy?
My philosophy of teaching is to discover how a student learns through conversation and observation. I believe every student has great potential. It is my job to help the student tap into that potential.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
A typical first session with a student would be to discuss where a student would like help, what are their strengths, what are their weaknesses. I would also take the first session as an opportunity to build rapport and begin to build a trusting academic relationship.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
I can help a student become an independent learner by building confidence in their abilities. I strive to instill in the idea that a large part of success is the willingness to keep trying.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
I would help a student stay motivated by offering opportunities for success. As a teacher, I am in the position to amplify a student’s strengths to inspire a student to conquer all tasks, even those that are considered difficult.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
If a student has difficulty learning a concept, I would offer differentiated instruction to overcome the barrier. I would decide if I could introduce the skill in a manner that is relevant to the student. If it can be presented in a style that includes a personal piece, it becomes significant to the student.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
I help students with reading comprehension by making a connection between the text and the student. Additionally, I ask questions about what the student just read. Making inferences and predictions to connect what we already know and what we discovered through the text.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
I have found that building student's confidence will lead to increased motivation and self- assurance in their abilities.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
I would help a student get excited by giving the student some control over their learning process. If a student is asked about their learning process, they’ll be more willing to participate and be more motivated. Again, it always helpful to intertwine any personal aspects or interests to increase engagement.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
I would check for understanding by asking the student to briefly switch roles. You (the student) is now the teacher and I am the student (tutor). I would ask the student to teach me the material. Students also enjoy using the Glass, Bugs, Mud check. After students try a task or review a learning target or assignment, they express their understanding or readiness to independently complete a task by using the windshield metaphor for clear vision. Glass: totally clear; bugs: a little fuzzy; mud: I can barely see.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
I would build a student's confidence by using the strategy; Say It Out Loud. When students encounter material for the first time, it is helpful if they can talk it out with a teacher. This might be in the form of dissecting a vocabulary word, a scientific concept, a math problem. The verbal processing that takes place in conversation with a teacher settles the learner, provides an opportunity to try out the language associated with the new topic, and equips him or her with confidence. Through trial, error and immediate feedback, the student now feels more confident tackling the subject.