I was born and raised in Atlanta, attending the same school for 14 years and graduating High School with honors. For undergraduate, I wanted a change - a big change - so I went up north, where I studied Behavioral Neuroscience. I worked in neuroscience labs and at schools helping students with learning disabilities and developmental delays. After continuing my work in this field for a few years, I decided to become an educator and apply what I had learned to the general population. I earned my Masters in Education - and this time, it was in the warmth of the south.
I have over ten years experience tutoring and working in education at schools and learning centers. I can guarantee that I will be committed to you and your student in helping him or her try to achieve and surpass the academic goals.
Northeastern University - Bachelors, Behavioral Neuroscience
Lesley University - Masters, Education
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
I have found that education is rarely one size fits all, so it is hard to say which strategy is most successful. When I start to work with a student, I try to figure out where he is, where he needs to go in terms of goals, and how he best learns.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
In my ten plus years of tutoring experience, I have found that a student fully comprehends the material if she can say it back in her own words. I tend to ask questions and review throughout each practice problem and review general concepts towards the end of the tutoring session as well.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
I usually tutor in math and have found that there is a subset of reading comprehension that is required to excel at understanding math questions. I help students with math reading comprehension by encouraging them to slow down and to focus on what the problem is asking. I encourage students to quickly sketch the math problem. This shows that the student comprehends the problem, and it usually serves as, at least, a starting point to solve the problem correctly. Outside of math, I believe that great reading comprehension skills can be taught by first asking students summary questions about a story on their current reading level, and then teaching students to ask themselves those same questions. My goal would be to make it effortless for a student to successfully comprehend a developmentally appropriate reading passage.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
I usually use notebook paper, pencils, and sometimes a calculator. For younger students, I have visual cue cards and manipulatives, including dice.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
In a typical first session, I am sure to discuss goals with the student. I try to make sure that both the student and myself are on the same page in terms of the big picture of where he/she wants to go and what needs to get accomplished to get there.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
I like to ask questions and make pop references, especially for older students. With all students, I try to relate as much as possible back to their own expressed personal interests, such as sports or video games.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
When appropriate, I like to praise and to point out successful moments that deserve acknowledgement and celebration. Sometimes it can help to hear those positive qualities that we may overlook in ourselves. In the end, I believe that confidence means a student intrinsically believes in himself or herself.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
On average, I would say that most of the material covered in tutoring is met with a small degree of difficulty, or at least some unfamiliarity to the student. I think one of the keys to successful tutoring is being able to go backwards with concepts to figure out where the student is in the material and meet the student there.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
I evaluate a student's needs through a mixture of asking the student, talking with the parents, reviewing school notes, looking at grades, revisiting our goals, etc.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
In order to meet the needs of each individual student, I vary the amount of questions that I ask a student, the amount of time that we devote to homework in a session, the use of manipulatives and visual cues, and more.
What is your teaching philosophy?
I believe that the purpose of education is to give all children the academic, intellectual, and problem solving skills needed for a successful and fulfilling adulthood. I teach and tutor with the goal in mind that a child can do well in a class and also take some skills with him or her from a lesson into adulthood.