My name is Teresa and I'm from Southern California. I received my BA and MA in Psychology. I strongly believe in helping people help themselves towards lasting health. I have worked with children mostly, but have also owned my own organic farming business. I believe food plays a major role in mental health and that people can bring themselves into proper mental and emotional health through food, exercise and education on coping skills and techniques. I love to cook and bake, and I will try any food once. Hiking is my number one stress reliever; dancing is my second stress reliever. I love animals, traveling, and finding time for good books and movies.
When working with students, I like to let the student lead me through their learning process and adapt to meet their needs. Everyone learns differently and I like to support my student in what works for them. When a student feels understood and heard, they're more likely to be open and receptive to new skills and a new viewpoint that will help expand their learning.
Cal State University Fullerton - Bachelors, Psychology
Antioch University-Santa Barbara - Masters, Psychology
What is your teaching philosophy?
My teaching philosophy is centered around the student. I want my student to feel comfortable and to learn a subject in their own learning style. Not every student learns material the same way, but by building a strong relationship first, the student is more trusting and open to suggestions later. Above all, I love school, and I want to share that enthusiasm with my student.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
In a typical first session with a student, I want to build a relationship and create a relaxed atmosphere. I want my student to find something to connect with in me so they will be open to my help. I want to know where my student learns and does homework (table, bed, couch) and let them show me what material they pay attention to and why. Once I get a feel for my student's abilities, then I can go in and make suggestions that they'll hopefully see will improve their learning.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
I can help my student become an independent learner by demonstrating what that means. If my student is having a problem with an answer, I will go over the entire question and answer it thoroughly. I would also ask them what they do and don't understand, help them try to understand confusing material, and then let them show me on the next problem the skills I demonstrated for them. After they try to answer on their own, I will go over it again. This builds confidence by showing an answer step by step and allowing them to try it themselves. Usually, students get the hang of how to dissect a question rather quickly, and they then feel they're capable to do following questions on their own.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
I believe in lots of short breaks. I understand being frustrated at not understanding something, so when a student does something on their own that was difficult, or if they've stayed on a task for a period of time without giving up, I believe lots of short breaks makes a student feel like they've accomplished a lot. I give them a rest, and then they'll be ready to go back to the task at hand. Of course, using rewards like snacks, game time, and time away from the material, are always mood boosters as well.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
The skill or concept has to be broken down into as many small concepts as possible so the skill doesn't seem daunting. Some students need guidance the entire way and other students may only need guidance part of the way. But the skill has to be broken down into manageable parts, and I always use myself as an example so the student doesn't feel like the pressure is on them to be correct all the time.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
I like students to explain their understanding of the passage they just read and why they believe or think the things they do. Once I know what they're thinking, I can explain why they are or are not correct, and then I ask them to give examples of alternative answers, or help them in thinking of alternative ways to understand what was read.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
I ask the student what works for them, what they like and dislike, and take the lead from them.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
Using real world examples usually makes learning more fun. Taking the subject into real life and engaging the student through play or physical activity.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
I prefer the student to explain their understanding to me, especially in a real world setting. I believe that is the best way to learn. I like the student to demonstrate their understanding step by step. Lastly is using tests.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
Building a student's confidence is done by using very easy questions and slowly building them up to harder and harder questions. Even if the student feels like something is too easy, it is a benefit because it makes the subject less daunting.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
By going over the answers they answered incorrectly. Usually students have a pattern of material they don't understand.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
I take the student's lead. I want to know what the student thinks works for them and what doesn't, and tutor based off of that.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
I like a lot of visuals, so whatever the student has handy works because it's their own materials that help them feel comfortable.