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Mary Rebecca

I am an enthusiastic tutor with a passion for teaching. I am a 2013 graduate of Jacksonville University, where I earned a bachelor's of social sciences. I have work experience as a group instructor for reading and mathematics with students who were behind grade level in elementary and middle school and also as a substitute teacher for middle and high school students. I have over 150 classroom hours as a teaching intern in a high school history class at Atlantic Coast High School. I have tutored for over 5 years. When I'm not working, I enjoy spending time with my son, my dog and my two cats, and listening to music.

Undergraduate Degree:

 Jacksonville University - Bachelors, Social Sciences

Listening to music, reading, writing.

What is your teaching philosophy?

I believe that there is more to the purpose of education than the obvious. Socialization and the acquisition of knowledge are important, but I think that another important aspect of education often goes overlooked: to create a love of learning. I hope that through teaching I can instill in children a passion for learning and for thinking critically on matters, so that they approach the world as strong, independent-minded adults with a thirst for truth and understanding.

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

After introductions, I begin with asking the student about their strengths and weaknesses. Next, I ask the student to show me their schoolwork for the applicable subject. Then I like to do some diagnostic tests to aid me in identifying areas of weakness, so I can prepare meaningful and productive lessons for future meetings.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

Independent learners are those who enjoy learning and are confident in their abilities. By making learning approachable instead of daunting, students will no longer feel intimidated by the task of learning. Once you show a student that they can figure something out, even if it seems difficult at first, then their confidence sky rockets. This allows for them to not be so put off the next time they struggle; they know now that with a little effort they are going to figure it out!

How would you help a student stay motivated?

If a student struggles with motivation, it is best to figure out how to relate their success to their goals. Show them why it is important to THEM that they succeed, not why it's important to you, their parents, their teachers, or anyone else.

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

It is important to understand and acknowledge that not all students learn the same. There are many different ways to teach something. If one method doesn't work for a student, I try a different teaching approach. One student may be a visual learner, while another is more auditory. The important thing to keep in mind is that there is an approach that will work for your student!

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

There are many tips and tools for a student struggling with reading comprehension. I may start by reviewing what the major elements of a story are, and have the student look out for those every time he or she reads. I might also have the student write out a plot breakdown for the story. It's just about identifying specifically where the student needs to focus and going from there.

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

It is important to be friendly and approachable so that the student will want to work with you. After that, one of my favorite tools is diagnostic tests so I can identify exactly where we need to work and not waste any time on skills the student doesn't need to review. Additionally, I like to try to guide the student toward the correct answer as opposed to just giving it to them... that way, they'll know how to do it themselves next time.

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

Most students get excited once they start to see that they can succeed. I always stay positive and make sure to offer encouragement every step of the way.

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

I make sure the student is understanding by having them work independently while I watch after we have learned something, and by asking them to show me their work from school (both new assignments and graded work) every week.

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

I try to be the student's own personal cheerleader every step of the way! Some students think they are just awful at a subject, but I will find what they do know and point out how difficult that material is, and how well they are doing.

How do you evaluate a student's needs?

I evaluate a student's needs by talking with the parent and student, reviewing the student's school work, talking with the teacher if the parents/student wish, and administering diagnostic tests.

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

There are many approaches to teaching a subject. I try to identify how each student learns best: auditory, visual, or kinesthetic. Then I teach to that style.

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

I make use of everything from handouts, books, and flashcards to calculators and computers. Whatever gets the job done!