I am a recent graduate from the New Mexico State University with my Bachelor's in Spanish & Linguistics, a minor in International Relations, and my certificate to teach English as a foreign language. I spend my free time traveling around the U.S and other parts of the world, painting, hula hooping, and running! I love to teach people and help them achieve their true potential, I look forward to meeting you :)
New Mexico State University-Main Campus - Bachelors, Foreign Languages and Linguistics
What is your teaching philosophy?
My teaching philosophy involves confidence building and using creative outlets to learn! First and foremost, I like to start off with my students, focusing on what they do know rather than creating intimidation by focusing on what they don't know. After this, we can really get into what we need to work on. I use positive reinforcement and try to find the things they enjoy and are passionate about so that we can incorporate that into the learning for better retention.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
A typical first session with a student would be used to figure out what they would like to get from lessons with me, both short-term and long-term. We will assess their goals and their general knowledge of the topic being taught before moving into the actual lesson so I can establish which level they are at.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
This is where the creative learning can come in. If we can establish what tools they need and enjoy learning with early on, it will motivate them to study more independently and to be better prepared for future lessons.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
I help students stay motivated by keeping them very involved in the lesson. I do not like to just lecture and sit and talk at them while they are trying to copy down my every word. I will pre-plan lessons for them and bring in fun and engaging activities that will increase student talk time and decrease mine.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
First, I would establish what exactly they are not understanding - the concept itself or the strategy. We may need to go back to the basics and this time take a different approach when dealing with the concept.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
For a student struggling with some reading comprehension issues, we will start off basic. I would make sure they know what kind of text they will be reading, and give them a sort of question and answer sheet - this way they are actively engaged and looking for something in the text. Afterward, we can discuss certain words they had trouble understanding, etc. I would like to note that, especially with foreign languages, it is not necessary to understand every single word that is read, but more importantly the concept and message being portrayed in the text.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
I have received good feedback on picking particular subjects and focusing on what they already know before what they don't know, always maintaining an upbeat and positive attitude, and adjusting whatever I have planned to the particular need of the student. If they make mistakes while speaking, I always wait to the end rather than interrupting them and making them self-conscious.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
I would start to integrate their own personal interests and hobbies into the lessons, which will make for better retention. Also, I will have some kind of reward system in which they can feel good about whenever they get something right and never shame them for getting something wrong.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
After I have engaged them and studied with them, we will go into an "activate" stage. This is where they will be given an activity to do on their own and present to me, after which they will demonstrate what they have learned and/or are still struggling with. Activities can include role-play, writing a diary entry, giving a short planned presentation, etc. If there are still questions or issues, we can go back to the study phase before completing another active activity.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
As I previously stated, we first start with what they do know. After this has been established, letting them talk and express themselves in a non-judgemental environment is very important for confidence building. They may have short assignments in which they can present me with their knowledge, rather than me constantly lecturing them.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
By giving a short evaluation at the beginning of the first lesson with a student, asking them for their personal goals in our lessons, and paying attention to the areas in which they struggle.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
I come into lessons with pre-planned materials, but adapt to their needs based on what I see and what they tell me they need. In my lesson plans, I include anticipated problems for students and how to address them.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
I go with a whiteboard, possibly printouts, my own notes, and my laptop for PowerPoints, videos, auditory recordings, etc.