Hello Ladies and Gentlemen!
I’d like to first start off with introducing myself. My name is Alva and I am one of many other tutors that will serve to your child’s academic needs. I reside in Los Angeles, CA and am currently enrolled in the Speech Language Pathology Assistant program at Pasadena City College. I also hold a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology, which I received after graduating from the University of California, Merced in May of 2015. I pursued a degree in Psychology after becoming interested in Child Development. Other than taking courses in child development, I also pursued a minor in Spanish. While pursuing my Bachelor of Arts degree, I became a student volunteer at the Early Childhood Education Center at UC Merced. I also became a literacy tutor for a program called Book Buddies. As a tutor, I was assigned to work with a group of 4- 6 2nd graders in improving their literacy skills. The time spent with these students allowed me to recognize that each student has their unique way of learning and that it is our job as their tutors and mentors to work around their learning capabilities all while implementing others.
I look forward to working with my future students and helping them succeed in their academics all while improving myself as a tutor by learning through each students I am given the opportunity to work alongside with.
Growing up, one of my favorite hobbies included reading during the summer and also before bedtime. As I have grown older, I keep this hobby alive. My lifelong favorite book is "The Giver" by Lois Lowry. Other hobbies include arts and crafts as well as listening to music.
University of California-Merced - Bachelors, Psychology
What is your teaching philosophy?
I believe that students are their own best teachers and that it is our jobs as tutors to aid them in learning. Each student has their unique way of learning, and mentoring them serves as a manner of facilitation towards their learning. Once a tutor/mentor recognizes what is their students' learning styles, he/she should find ways to work around their students' learning apprehension.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
The first thing I would do is let the student introduce him or herself to me. I want my student to feel comfortable working around me, and I believe that rapport is built from having their student's trust. Afterwards, I'd introduce myself to my students and let them know why I am there and how I will make sure they become better students.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
As mentioned, I believe a child is their best teacher. When they find themselves in a classroom taking notes, they write what they think will stick in their mind. I am a strong believer that motivation and positive reinforcement is a key to student's academic success. Once a teacher or mentor sees that their student is more confident, he/she should turn the tables and allow the student to teach them how to solve a problem or what thought process they used to reach their final answer.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
I sense that a student should be able to feel relatable to their teacher or tutor. Teachers and tutors were once students like themselves and understand firsthand the frustration felt when a subject or problem is being understood. My way of helping a student stay motivated is by encouragement as well as allowing them to explore other ways to solve a problem they might be experiencing difficulty with. I'll let them know that if their way isn't working, there is always another way of working around their problems.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
Taking in consideration my student's learning apprehension style, I'll find a way to work around their learning style and facilitate how they learn a skill or concept, without changing much. If my student is one that picks up the material quick, then I'd probably introduce other methods. If my student has difficulty, I'd try my absolute best to ease learning that concept.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
I'd coach them through whatever it is they are having difficulty in. I'd begin by observing how much they are struggling in a certain area and work around their needs. I would spend whatever time I think is sufficient on a concept until I sense that my student is finally confident enough to work on their own.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
One strategy I always like to begin with is knowing what exactly they need help in. I do not like to overlook a problem, hence, I dedicate enough time aiding them. Another strategy I have found most successful is building rapport. You want your student to feel comfortable having you around, so I don't want my student to feel bombarded by my presence. Overall, my ultimate goal is to have my student see me not only as their mentor and tutor, but as a friend.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
I wouldn't push the subject on them. In other words, I would not frustrate my student furthermore with whatever amount of frustration I may be feeling at the moment. If there is one thing I have learned, it is that students like when information is easily handed to them. I have also learned that students learn best when they are having fun. I'd find a way to make learning that particular subject fun and engaging, and hopefully succeed in my student seeing that subject in another light.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
One technique I would use, is turning the tables. In other words, I'd allow my student to teach me the material and/or steps to a problem. I want the student to not only prove to me that they understand the material, but I also want them to prove to themselves that they are capable of learning and understanding whatever it is they set their mind to.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
When a student is already passionate on a subject, I'd like to keep that student motivated and passionate about it. However, with a student that does not feel the same way towards a subject, I'd work around their unique learning style and let them see how their way of learning can also help them, eventually building, increasing, and maintaining confidence in a subject.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
I am aware that assessments do exist that aid a tutor/mentor evaluate a student's needs. I am also aware that students may be in different levels of learning and that all assessments may not evaluate each student's needs. Therefore, I'd start off with simply seeing where they need the most help and working forward from there.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
I adapt my tutoring to the students’ needs by being 100% aware of what needs must be met and what my student needs the most help in. I like to revolve my work around the student and making them sense that I completely want them to succeed.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
The types of materials I'd typically used during a tutoring session will vary depending on what student I am working with. I know some students can easily work problems in their minds, so using pen and paper will suffice. However, I know that other students require visual aids. Therefore, I'd supply them with colored pencils and or tangible objects that will aid them with their learning.