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Chris

In the winter of 2004, I had the pleasure of earning my first degree from Texas Southern University. I received a Bachelors of Arts in Psychology. From there I entered the classroom and began my teaching career. I began working with at risk students at an alternative school for behavioral concerns. I noticed that many of the students there were smart but had behavioral characteristics that hindered their learning process. I started as a teacher aide but enjoyed it so much that I decided to become certified. I chose to receive my certification in grades 4-8 in all content areas. My personal belief is that these are those most critical times of a students educational career. My desire to want to become a counselor blossomed in those first four years. I made the decision in 2008 to work towards a Masters' degree in School Counseling. I attended University of Houston-Clear Lake and obtained my degree in 2012. During the road to my degrees, I had the pleasure of teaching middle school students in all content areas. Now that I have been a school counselor for the past fours years I have come to miss the classroom environment. There is so much joy in watching students learn something new and the excitement they present. The primary subjects that I tutor are English & Language Arts and middle school level Math. Essay writing would probably be considered my favorite subject since I consider myself a writer as well. Many students struggle with the subject because they are not sure what to say. My advice to students is always to follow your knowledge of the topic and let your mind flow freely. When working with students I try to get to know them as an individual so that learning can be tailored to their needs. There are no two brains that think alike and therefore should be taught using different methods at times. One of the largest components that becomes a hurdle in student learning is study skills or lack thereof. Before I start working with a student I always investigate their studying style. Based on the method they utilize I do my best to tweak the needed changes to maximize student learning. Whenever my time is not devoted to educating I love to listen to music and write poetry. I try to be a student of all genres of music because I believe songs tell the story of a person. My favorite sports are basketball and boxing although I find myself drawn to anything that has a competitive nature.

Undergraduate Degree:

 Texas Southern University - Bachelors, Psychology

Graduate Degree:

 University of Houston-Clear Lake - Masters, School Counseling

Listening to music, writing poetry, and playing basketball

10th Grade Reading

10th Grade Writing

11th Grade Reading

11th Grade Writing

12th Grade Reading

12th Grade Writing

1st Grade Math

1st Grade Reading

1st Grade Writing

2nd Grade Math

2nd Grade Reading

2nd Grade Writing

3rd Grade Math

3rd Grade Reading

3rd Grade Writing

4th Grade Math

4th Grade Reading

4th Grade Writing

5th Grade Math

5th Grade Reading

5th Grade Writing

6th Grade Math

6th Grade Reading

6th Grade Writing

7th Grade Reading

7th Grade Writing

8th Grade Reading

8th Grade Writing

9th Grade Reading

9th Grade Writing

Adult Literacy

African-American History

College English

Comparative Literature

Elementary School Math

Elementary School Reading

Elementary School Writing

Handwriting

High School English

High School Writing

Homework Support

Middle School Reading

Middle School Writing

Other

STAAR EOC Prep

Study Skills

Study Skills and Organization

What is your teaching philosophy?

As an educator, parent, and adult I feel that it is our responsibility to provide the most adequate opportunity for success in children. In the classroom it is the obligation of the teacher to provide efficient instruction to their students and possess the ability to reach each student that they encounter. An educator should not be cemented into one style of teaching because they will experience more than one style of student. Our children come to us from a variety of backgrounds that we have to corral in order for them to comprehend the content. If we find ourselves fixated on one method of teaching we will be doing a disservice to many of our students. We are not only here to provide academic achievement but to also prepare students for a successful path through their lives. When teachers appropriately display structure and routine in their classroom, it is giving the student a glimpse of the expectations of society. We are now experiencing a generation that has slowly begun to lose its sense of values and morals. Since we as teachers see most of our students more than they see their own families it is our duty to offer them the best life strategies possible. As educators we must remember that these students will one day become adults and be the ones who are fueling our economy. If we do not equip them with the academic and behavioral knowledge needed for success they will then carry that deficiency into the real world.

What might you do in a typical first session with a student?

This first thing I would do is introduce myself and try to learn as much as possible about the student. I would spend 5 minutes or so just speaking in general (non-academic) with the student. I have learned that sometimes learning is better if it can be related directly to your life. Hence the reason it is important to know you personally as well academically.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

Once the concept has been taught allow them time to do some independent practice. The more practice that is done creates less need to offer assistance. I encourage students to always try all options that they can think of to solve a problem before they pursue help.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

Once again I believe that relating learning to their environment can always promote motivation. This gives the opportunity to that the educational skills they are gaining can be used in their everyday life. Also, as an educator you must learn a variety of ways to present information to students so they aren't stuck in a mundane routine. Learning should always be fun and the only way to do that is to mix it up a little.

If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?

The best strategy would be to let them walk me through their thinking process as they are answering a question. Many times there is just one step or process that isn't understood that hinders complete comprehension.

How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?

If a student is going to successfully comprehend literature they must first understand the parts of writing. Elements such as characters, setting, plot, & conflict/resolution can give better insight to what is happening in many stories. If all else fails I would help the student create a graphic organizer. This would allow them to break the story into the different pieces and place them in their appropriate places.

What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?

My primary advice to students when studying is to relax. I find that so many students struggle because they are questioning their knowledge. I always tell students to find an environment that is work compatible but also comfortable. I also try to encourage them to create their study material, such as flashcards or mnemonics. This will allow them to put the information in terms they understand. This helps to retain information because the student is reviewing the content as they create their supporting materials.

How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?

The best way to get them engaged is to find a way to relate the subject matter to their personal life. This is why, when working with students, I feel it is extremely imperative to get to know them as an individual. By bringing familiarity to learning they can then begin valuing the importance.

What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?

My techniques would definitely be different regarding the student and subject matter. I have always been a big fan of flashcards as study materials. These typically speak to any grade level and content area. Aside from those, I would use review assessments and random quizzes to assure that the information is gained.

How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?

The biggest confidence builder is to encourage them in a positive manner. Even if the student is getting the wrong answer, I try to find positive things they may have used to come to their conclusion. So many times educators, professional and casual, only compliment the student when they are correct, but fuss and show frustration when they're wrong. If a student is trying to learn something new, they have to understand that it is a process. As long as they continue to work, they will see it through.

How do you evaluate a student's needs?

The best way to assess needs is to give a pretest in the needed subject. This will initially identify areas where clarity isn't present.

How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?

The best way to adapt is to learn the student. There are many students who don't function well through lectures, but by actually getting hands on with learning. The more you talk with the student and find out what type of person they are, you gain insight on how they think and process information.

What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?

I use pre-tests and post-tests to gauge our starting points and progress. Personally, I am a kinesthetic learner and love to use hands-on materials. Many of the students I work with tend to also enjoy this type of learning, because it takes the information out of the book and put it into reality.