I am currently attending Providence college. This year I worked as a teacher's assistant in a inner city classroom. I was able to work with twenty-six wonderful first grade students. In this position I helped children with Special Needs achieve their goals for the academic year. I also volunteered in an afterschool enrichment program for inner city students. In this program I helped fourth and fifth graders with their homework. I also was able to set up many fun group building activities.
I love giving back to the community. I have worked with Habitat for Humanity and I am an active member of my school's ESL Club. In ESL club I help adult Spanish speaking students learn the vocabulary they need for their day to day activities. I have also tutored High School and College students in History, English, Spanish, Art History, and Religion. I love being able to find creative solutions to problems. I think that everyone approaches learning differently. In my opinion, teachers need to be flexible and they need to adapt to their students needs. True Learning can only take place when a student feels respected and safe.
Providence College - Current Undergrad, Elementary and Special Education
SAT Verbal: 720
AP English Literature: 4
AP English Language: 4
AP US History: 4
AP European History: 5
SAT Subject Test in Literature: 720
SAT Subject Test in U.S. History: 750
SAT Subject Test in World History: 730
AP Art History: 5
College Level American History
Elementary School Math
High School English
High School Level American History
What is your teaching philosophy?
I believe that all students should be able to learn in a safe and productive environment. I do not believe that any student is incapable of learning. Rather, I think that each person approaching learning in a unique way. Therefore, it is a teacher's responsibility to understand what her student needs.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
I believe that each person approaches learning in a different way. We each have diverse talents and experiences. Therefore, in the past I usually have used the first tutoring session as a time in which I could familiarize myself with the student's preferences. I think that the student's ideas and thoughts matter. With this in mind I might spend a couple of minutes at the beginning of the session talking with the student about what they want to achieve through these sessions.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
I think that each student has the potential to succeed in life. In my opinion, we can become independent learners when we are able to explore ideas and take chances. I think many people learn better when they are actively engaged in what they are learning. When I tutor my students I try to help them develop those higher level thinking skills. I am an avid supporter of Vygotsky's theories on learning. Like Vygotsky, I feel that many students learn better when they are brought out of their comfort zone. I try to help my student's become independent learners by leading them into their zone of proximity.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
I think sometimes student's become unmotivated when they feel that their ideas are not respected. I believe that when you allow your students to make choices they become active participants in their education. I always let my students know that I am there for them. I understand that certain concepts are very difficult. However, I also want to students to know that even though these topics are hard they still have control over the situation. I try to remind my student's that they have gifts that allow them to approach these concepts in unique ways.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
I would ask the student why they think this topic is so difficult for them to understand. Then I would ask them if their anything about this subject that they feel comfortable with. By having students verbalize their strengths and weaknesses I think that both students and their teachers begin to better understand what steps should be taken.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
When I help students who are struggling with reading comprehension I generally have them first set goals. I might ask them what they think they are going to get out of reading this particular passage or chapter. I also try to teach students reading comprehension strategies. I may ask a student to reread a passage, underline important passages, make connections, or visualize what they are reading. For ESL students or beginning readers I may also try to teach them short lessons on morphemes. I believe that by studying morphemes many students are able to break down complex vocabulary.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
I found that when I combined both visual and audio components in my lessons my students were often able to learn better.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
For younger students I try to make hands on activities in which they can actively engage in the material. For example, I have had some of my younger students who have difficulty writing express themselves through both words and images in certain activities. When my elementary students are struggling with certain material I may try to teach these concepts through fun learning games. By introducing the material in this way I think younger students feel less fearful and unsure about this material.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
I try to show students all they can do. Even though a student may be having a difficult time with certain material every person has a lot to offer. I think that when you give people different techniques to solve a problem they begin to feel more confident. I try to teach different learning strategies as a way of improving a student's academic confidence.