I received my Bachelor’s Degree in Speech/Communications from St. Joseph’s College in Brooklyn, NY, and am currently pursuing my Master’s Degree in Teaching (English) for Middle Childhood/Adolescents at SUNY Empire State College. I believe that people learn best when in a caring, nurturing environment and do my best to ensure that they feel comfortable working with me. I believe learning can be fun and that everyone has the potential to achieve greatness! A large part of my teaching strategy is to learn my students interests, likes and dislikes and to work them into my lessons to maximize their level of understanding of the topic.
Experience: Has worked in school/school related settings for 9 years.
Certifications: Assistant Teacher (K-12), Working toward Transitional B Certification within Master's Program
St Josephs College Brooklyn - Bachelors, Speech Communications, Theatre Minor
SUNY Empire State College - Current Grad Student, M.A.T in English, Middle Childhood and Adolescent
CLEP English Literature
High School English
High School Writing
Introduction to Fiction
Introduction to Poetry
Middle School Reading
Middle School Reading Comprehension
Middle School Writing
Study Skills and Organization
Technology and Computer Science
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
By coaching students in specific skills, I can teach them to be problem solvers, which increases their critical-thinking and boosts their confidence, thereby making them more independent in their learning skills.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
I love to learn more about my students, and by using their likes and dislikes, help them to better understand the topic at hand. Being genuine with students is also very important, because they can sense authenticity right away.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
Approaching the skill or concept in a new way usually helps students with a difficult skill. Knowing the student well is usually helpful because you come to know their learning style, and can adjust your teaching accordingly.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
The only way for students to become better readers is to read! Finding out their personal interests and getting passages and books to read based off of them is really effective in my experience!
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
Playing knowledge-based quiz games always works to my advantage when assessing students. While testing is helpful, informal assessments are just as effective, and students tend to perform better on them.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
Get to know them personally for a bit, find out what their strengths and weaknesses are, and what they're hoping to get out of the tutoring session. I'd want the first session to be focused towards knowing how the student learns best and what their current skill level is.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
Making them feel as comfortable as possible, going over previously completed work in order to assess their current skill level, and then building off of their current skill level to get them to their desired goal level.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
For every negative, I include a positive. For example, if a student didn't do a task correctly, I'd say something to the effect of: "I like the way you did/You've really improved on _______ but I think we could work some more on ______. Why don't we try reviewing ______ and see if we can come up with something different?" This usually gives the student the cue that they're on the right track but need to keep working on something. They don't get as discouraged if they know they're on that right path.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
I think a combination of talking to the student and their parent is helpful. Hearing it from the student directly is always great because they're being more proactive in their learning. Generally, looking at previous assignments or a small pretest gives a good picture of their current skill level, letting me know which skills need some improvement.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
I intend to have a designated folder for each student of mine, organizing their contact information and designated subject materials. In the folder, I include some handouts or worksheets based on the subject material and some helpful tips to help the students improve.
What is your teaching philosophy?
I believe, first and foremost, that the main purpose of education is to ensure our students gain knowledge in the classroom setting. We must ask ourselves, as teachers, how do our students learn best? Once being with a group of students, you as a teacher must decide the best approach to helping them to understand the curriculum. I believe that there's no one answer to an educational theory, but rather a mixture of several. According to Socrates, true learning is founded on motivation, and he believed in the freedom of the self. I agree with Socrates in the sense that education has to come from the students themselves, and they need to put forth the necessary effort to learn; however, the teachers play a huge role in ensuring that the students find learning fun and interesting. As a teacher, I hope to get the students excited about every aspect of school, and want them to be active and responsible learners. I want them to take responsibility for their education and to tap into their innate abilities to problem-solve and facilitate directed discussion on a subject or topic. Our jobs as teachers do not end in the classroom. They carry out into the real world, and I find myself thinking about and worrying about students even after the last bell of the day has rang. Teaching truly isn't a nine to five job, and I don't intend to treat it that way. My philosophy can be ultimately summed up by this: I do everything I can for the kids.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
I find relating the topic to something the student may have an interest in is always a great route to take in situations like this. If the student is more of a movie buff, and I'm teaching them the skill of persuasive essay writing, I'll have them persuade me that _____ is the best movie of all time. It all comes back to knowing your students on an individual level, and altering your teaching practices based off of that knowledge.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
Knowing the type of learner is crucial for this aspect. If a student is a more visual learner, flow charts and pictures can completely alter their understanding of a topic. If a student learns best by writing things/highlighting text, I have them write down a definition and highlight it. Basically, once again, it comes back to knowing the individual student and adapting from there.