I am a young educator with four years of tutoring experience. I currently work full time as a middle school teacher, but I miss working one to one with students.
A good tutor knows the subject material and knows how to make it interesting to the student. I'd like to make learning fun and foundational for my students!
Texas State University-San Marcos - Bachelors, Special Education
What is your teaching philosophy?
No two brains work the same way. A good teacher knows that in order for a student to understand something, you may have to present it in several different ways. Patience is a virtue and learning is like a puzzle piece. I have to explain in such a way that will fit!
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
In a typical first session with a student I like to assess their skill level in the subject. Equally as important, I like to get to know the student. How do they like to learn? What are their outside interests? What makes this particular subject so frustrating? Finding academic weakness is just as important and understanding who a student is.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
Being an independent learner is a skill and therefore must be taught. By equipping the student with the tools needed to be independent and then showing them how to use them, you teach a skill that is useful for the rest of their lives.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
I can relate to some learning being very frustrating as a former student. By building the student's confidence (and building in a few brain breaks) I can increase their internal motivation!
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
All good things take time. Learning a skill or concept takes patience and a bit of innovation. If the student doesn't understand the first/second/third time, it is my job to get creative in my teaching until they do!
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
As a full time teacher, this is usually my main focus. By finding reading material that is of high interest to that student, we make reading more fun. Once I know what the student likes to read, I can build a program around that material to increase overall reading comprehension. This is done through activities not only in comprehension but also in fluency, vocabulary, word analysis.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
The best strategy to use is getting to know the student. Once I understand how that person works and learns, I can come up with specific strategies to fit their needs.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
Again, peaking their interest is a must! In English this typically means building lessons around topics that interest them. In math, a similar philosophy applies. You would be amazed at how much fractions make sense when you teach them with pizza!
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
Assessment is key and that doesn't necessarily mean a quiz or test. If a student can explain it, that means they understand it. Additionally, having students demonstrate mastery of a skill in multiple ways ensures they truly understand.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
Celebrating small victories is the easiest way to build confidence. Maybe you didn't solve the whole problem correctly, but you nailed the first three steps!
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
I tend to start by evaluating a student’s Lexile level, or the grade level on which they currently read. This gives me a starting place. Similar assessments can be used in math and help target exact areas of need by concept.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
The type of materials I use depend on the student's needs. Depending on how that student learns best I may use a reading/mathematics program, toys, food, released State tests, and other tactile items.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
In college I learned that there are four types of learners: visual, auditory, tactile, and kinesthetic. Every student learns a different way either by seeing it, hearing it, using tangible items, or by acting it out. Knowing what kind of learner I have helps me to bring the proper tools and resources.