Teaching is my passion. I was fortunate enough to discover this upon graduating from college, and every job I have had since involves teaching of some kind. I always wanted to be an English teacher, and I realized my dream in 2006. Since then, I have come to find that my favorite type of work is helping students achieve a level of reading comprehension that helps them not only understand critical passages, but also real-world materials. I think in English classes, we assume that students do always get the main idea, but as I keep teaching, I realize that reading critically is a skill we must work on. I am constantly sharpening my skills in helping students become better readers, and I am excited about the prospects of working with new students, as they help me learn even more about my teaching.
University of Georgia - Bachelors, English
Georgia State University - Masters, Education
High School English
What is your teaching philosophy?
My teaching philosophy is that I want to teach students to be successful for not just the immediate project/task, but for future skills as well. SAT/ACT prep is not just strategies, but learning about the main idea of the passage and how it is supported with evidence. This knowledge is vital for future success in all subject areas.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
I try to determine where the student is in the process. I either do a diagnostic or talk about past successes and challenges. I ask questions to find out where the tough areas are for this student.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
As I mentioned before, I teach strategies for future success, not just strategies only for a test. I teach to the "WHY" or the "HOW," not just to complete the task at hand.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
Making sure that students see progress is a major part of my tutoring. Setting realistic goals, working toward them, and acknowledging the student's success in that process keeps my students motivated.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
I always try more than one path to success. Students often need different ways to see the same concepts. I try to find ways to create analogies that break down the material and make it relatable to the student.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
The number one strategy is to learn the main idea of the passage. Students need to be active in the process of predicting the material, checking if he or she has the right idea, and asking questions along the way. We break down the passage into paragraph main ideas, transitions, and patterns. I teach students to create a "passage map" to decipher the main idea.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
Constant communication is an important strategy. By sharing feelings, questions, and ideas in a non-judgmental fashion, I create a comfort level with my student. From there, we begin to try different strategies and work our way through the issue at hand.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
I always find something that a student can relate to. I also like to emphasize to students that the strategies I teach will help them not help them in the present, but also will help them in the future.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
I have them perform the task on their own more than a few times. Once, to see if they are understanding the concept, twice for reinforcement, but as we go along, multiple times to reinforce a practice and also establish a baseline for performance.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
By showing their success. Giving praise when it is appropriate. Breaking down larger chunks of material into manageable pieces that we can make harder as we progress.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
Questions, quizzes, independent performance, practice, responses.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
By asking questions about the student's comfort level and past successes with types of assignments. It is a constant process that changes based upon the feedback I ask from the student.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
I use reading passages from prep books or from the student's own curriculum.