My name is Olivia Rock. I am currently a sophomore at the University of Redlands majoring in Psychology and Liberal Studies in order to get my multiple-subject and single-subject teaching credentials. I have a passion for teaching and I would love the opportunity to gain experience to better prepare myself for my future career. Currently, I am taking courses that specialize in teaching math and English to the Common Core standards, in being present in classrooms, and in learning the laws and basics of education. I have had experience working with students one-on-one and in groups in order to help them better understand material. Also, I have had experience teaching english to students abroad which gave me the unique opportunity to teach in front of classes with students from ages 6 to 18. Outside of the classroom, my favorite thing to do is swim. I have been swimming competitively for fifteen years and am swimming for my University. I also enjoy hiking, being outdoors, reading, and hanging out with my friends. I am very interested in psychology, education, and travel. I am excited to learn more about you, and I look forward to working with you in order to help you succeed in your classes.
University of Redlands - Current Undergrad, Psychology and Liberal Studies (Getting teaching credentials)
ACT Reading: 32
What is your teaching philosophy?
As a teacher, it is my job to be a support system for my students and to acknowledge their successes. I will help them find the light in their darkest moments and I will praise their achievements when they've embraced their light. There is no such thing as a student who cannot learn. It is my job to figure out why some don't...and teach them.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
I believe that it is extremely important as an educator to get to know the students, so in a first session I want to learn about the student. I want to know their interests, hobbies, passions, and I want to know what they are struggling with. Together we can identify what needs to be worked on and how we should approach them.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
Learning the skills to become an independent learner is important for future academic experience. Together we can figure out the best way to approach problems, we can figure out how to identify mistakes without assistance, and we can create a plan on how to study and learn in the future.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
School can be tough and frustrating, so motivation is also very important. I aim to make education exciting by creating problems or lessons that relate to the real world and the student's interests. I will be encouraging for the entire process as to not discourage the student. It is important for students to understand that mistakes are ok because they allow us to learn. Together we will find a way to make learning exciting (as it should be)!
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, I would walk them through, step-by-step, how to solve the problem. Once we go through step-by-step, I will give the student a similar problem to try on their own. If they are still struggling on the concept, I will use manipulatives, graphs, visuals, hands-on activities, examples, or other tools to help the student understand the concept.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
For students who are struggling with reading comprehension, we can walk through the sentence, paragraph, stanza, essay, etc., in broken parts. Then, we can discuss what we just read, make predictions, and talk about confusing vocab.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
When working with students, I have found that patience and encouragement are key in making them successful. Talking through problems, using tools to help comprehension, and allowing students to self-check their work are also important in a student's success.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
In order to get a student excited/engaged in a subject that they are struggling in, the teacher/tutor should relate the subject to their interests/passions/activities. It is also important to teach the student to their strengths, no matter what subject it may be.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
In order to be sure that a student understands material, I would use practice problems, authentic assessments, and maybe a quiz every couple of sessions. I would use practice problems, because it will give both the student and I the opportunity to see if the concept makes sense. I would use authentic assessment, because it gives the student the opportunity to explain to me what they understand rather than me testing them. Finally, I would use small quizzes to see what concepts needed further work. These would not be used to discourage the student; instead we could work through what mistakes were made (if any) and continue working on those concepts.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
A student's confidence could be built up by seeing the progress they have made and by understanding concepts. Even if some subjects are still difficult, seeing progress from the beginning to the present is a motivator to continue to do better. Also, when a student truly understands a concept and is able to explain the concepts to myself and others, then confidence is gained.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
To determine the needs of the students, I believe it is important to have a conversation about what the student believes he/she needs. Communication is key; if a student believes they need more help on a concept, then we may focus on that concept more. Likewise, if I have noticed that a student might need help with another concept, I can explain to them why and how we might go about that while listening to their input. I might do my own evaluation by starting off with a small quiz that will allow me to see a benchmark of where the student needs assistance.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
Students have different strengths and styles in their learning techniques. As a tutor, it is my job to adapt to those needs as well as introduce other techniques that may benefit the student. I would adapt to a student's needs by including activities that would be aimed toward their learning ability. For example, where one student may need a visual on how to solve a problem, another student might need a hands-on activity.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
During a tutoring session, depending on the topic, I would use the materials the students has been given by their school, find other sources of information to better prepare myself for the topic, and I would use manipulatives, graphs, examples, etc., that will allow for further explanation of concepts.