I have been teaching college writing and literature courses for the past 16 years. In that same time, I also worked as a tutor for the college and worked with students in all subjects, and also ESL students. Noting the need for tutoring to be accessible, I proposed The Learning Center establish an online tutoring program. The proposal was accepted, and I developed the platform and successfully integrated it into what the college offers its students.
I earned my bachelors in English Literature with a 3.83, and I finished my Masters in Education with a 4.0. I was a dedicated student, and I am an even more dedicated teacher. I base my success on how much I can help a student, and to date, my success stories bring a smile to my face.
Lyndon State College - Bachelors, English Literature
Strayer University - Masters, Educational Management
What is your teaching philosophy?
Each student brings a different need, and he/she also has a particular style of learning that works best. The best teachers understand the need to employ various teaching techniques that best work for the student, not those that best work for the teacher.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
My specialty is in English. I ask that students do a brief writing example, just a couple paragraphs long. Perhaps an introduction. I assess that: does the information flow, is the grammar correct, and what is the phrasing like? There's a lot one can learn from a few paragraphs about a student's ability to comprehend and also write what they understand.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
Online tutoring is a great way for any student to become more independent. It makes them commit a certain amount of time to their learning. Once this becomes routine, when the student has reached the point of no longer needing a tutor, the schedule of that time as "homework time" grow imbedded. What is done repeatedly becomes habit, and habits are hard to break.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
I learned from the best. Many of my professors had multiple degrees from Ivy League schools. Thus, a lot of what they said when over the heads of 80% of the students. Those who were in tune enough with the students in their classroom often used analogy to get a point or a lesson across. One professor I had seemed an endless fountain of similes and different ways of looking at what was written and read. Teachers find any means that works best for the student, and analogy is a wonderful way to create ideas.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
I ask them to read a passage out loud and slowly. Then, after putting the book down, I ask that they write what they recall: first, what the overall topic is, and; second, the facts. We repeat this process until the student gets faster and faster at recollection and writing it down. When marked improvement is made--which doesn't take long--I ask them questions related to what they read and see if they can answer them. Often they can. Reading out loud lets you hear it, and writing it afterwards helps keep in in memory. It's also a great way to keep practicing writing skills.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
Getting to know the student is the most important strategy. When one has been an educator for a long enough time, it becomes natural to cater to students' needs individually.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
My passion and excitement for English and the beauty of its written words helps a lot to get students excited about it. I don't lecture students; I engage them hands-on in learning.