English has always been my passion even in elementary school. In fact, I even remember my first experience with English and can still remember my first official publication in high school. Early on it was the Frog and Toad books, then it was the Babysitters Club. I have been blessed within my life and career to have good teachers/mentors who have continued to impact my life as well as support my decision to become a connoisseur in the craft of teaching and individualized instruction(tutoring).
I have been an educator for over 8 years and I have taught English II and English II Pre-Ap. As well as, English III AP and English IV . I must admit that I enjoy teaching high school, because literacy is the main focus. Teaching students to interpret what they have read for enjoyment as well as curriculum has always intrigued me.
In 2012 the state of Texas implemented a new and more rigorous test called the STAAR. In regards to the reading assessment, 100% of my students achieved the minimum score, 97% met the Level II phase in score, 97% met the Recommended Level, and 62% were deemed Advanced. In regards to the writing assessment, 100% of my students achieved the minimum score, 100% met the Level II phase in score, 97% met the Recommended Level, and 32% were deemed Advanced.
My primary areas of practice is trying to make a difference in the lives of students who have the willingness to try despite the odds. My push is to create a capacity for sustainable, student-centered improvement with measurable, replicable outcomes by enhancing a students study skills.
Huston Tillotson University - BA, English
Concordia University-Ann Arbor - M.Ed., Educational Administration
High School English
Study Skills and Organization
What is your teaching philosophy?
For me, teaching provides an opportunity for continual learning and growth. One of my hopes as an educator is to instill a love of learning in my students as I share my own passion for learning with them. I feel there is a need for compassionate, strong, and dedicated individuals who are excited about working with children. In our competitive society, it is important for students to not only receive a solid education but also to work with someone who is aware of and sensitive to their individual needs. I am such a person and will always strive to be the best educator that I can be.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
Getting Started: The First Meeting • I like to pre-assess my learners to see where their current levels of expertise are. • Next, I like to engage in activities where I can get to know my young scholar. View this as a relationship building activity. Keep it natural. • Then, I like to start a folder for my young scholars' information to be kept. All information about the young scholar and his/her progress should be stored in this folder. This includes: o A "Getting to Know You" survey o "Reading/Subject Area Specific Goals and Records" form o "Lesson and Observation Record" form (added each week)
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
I used the following activities during my session to build capacity and hopefully begin the steps to seeing growth. Planning and Facilitating Each Meeting •Prepare a brief plan before each meeting using the "Lesson and Observation Record" form. Options for your one-on-one time with a scholar include: *Interactive read aloud *Shared/modeled reading *Modeled/shared/interactive writing *Poetry sharing/response *Reader's theater/process drama *Choral reading/reader's theater *Interactive vocabulary *Interactive edit *Handwriting *Current events *Test reading and writing (standardized tests) or testing comprehension *Word study *Letter writing *Guided reading (introduce text, read text, discuss and revisit, graphic organizer) *Essay or poetry writing
How would you help a student stay motivated?
Following some of the research-based strategies for motivating students to learn is how I get and keep my students engaged. •Become a role model for student interest. Deliver your presentations with energy and enthusiasm. As a display of your motivation, your passion motivates your students. Make the course personal, showing why you are interested in the material. •Get to know your students. You will be able to better tailor your instruction to the students' concerns and backgrounds, and your personal interest in them will inspire their personal loyalty to you. Display a strong interest in students' learning and a faith in their abilities. •Use examples freely. Many students want to be shown why a concept or technique is useful before they want to study it further. Inform students about how your course prepares them for future opportunities. •Use a variety of student-active teaching activities. These activities directly engage students in the material and give them opportunities to achieve a level of mastery. •Teach by discovery. Students find as satisfying reasoning through a problem and discovering the underlying principle on their own. •Cooperative learning activities are particularly effective as they also provide positive social pressure. •Set realistic performance goals and help students achieve them by encouraging them to set their own reasonable goals. Design assignments that are appropriately challenging in view of the experience and aptitude of the class. •Place appropriate emphasis on testing and grading. Tests should be a means of showing what students have mastered, not what they have not. Avoid grading on the curve and give everyone the opportunity to achieve the highest standard and grades. •Be free with praise and constructive in criticism. Negative comments should pertain to particular performances, not the performer. Offer nonjudgmental feedback on students' work, stress opportunities to improve, look for ways to stimulate advancement, and avoid dividing students into sheep and goats. •Give students as much control over their own education as possible. Let students choose paper and project topics that interest them. Assess them in a variety of ways (tests, papers, projects, presentations, etc.) to give them more control over how they show their understanding to you. Give them options for how these assignments are weighted.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
Your child may need to learn specific study strategies for organizing, remembering, prioritizing, and shifting approaches flexibly. These processes are the underpinnings of strategic learning and are essential for accurate and efficient studying. They may also need strategies for identifying global themes while ignoring irrelevant details and shifting from the details to the main ideas. Self-checking strategies such as editing, planning, monitoring, and revising are critical, as many children do not use these automatically.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
In order for your child to remember information, the information needs to be filed away in his brain in an organized way. The information will then be much more easily accessible when it is time to retrieve and use the information in the classroom or on a test. Tests are often used by teachers to evaluate how much students understand and retain after days, weeks, or even months of class work, reading, discussions, homework, and projects. It is important that your child develop organized systems for keeping track of information, or he may become overwhelmed or confused about the many details. I help my learners accomplish this by: •Making sure he is doing nightly reading assignments and using a system to record or summarize, such as taking notes, writing section or chapter summaries on sticky notes, or answering questions at the end of each chapter. •Having him summarize orally to you what he has read to make sure he derived the main ideas. •Assisting him in organizing materials, such as cleaning out binders and folders, creating sections with tabs or folders, and making sure all study materials, including study guides or review sheets, are gathered in one place. Your child will probably remember information better when it is meaningful, familiar, or even silly!