My name is Jackie. I recently graduated from Texas Tech University with a degree in English. My passion is creative writing but I also understand and support the fundamental style of technical and analytical writing, as well as reading. I believe that if you can learn to read and think analytically, both technical and creative writing can be successfully achieved. This type of reading and writing can be considered a dying art, but in my opinion once a student learns those skills, it's even more impressive.
I spent a great deal of time in my educational career reading many genres of literature and editing my peers essays (from thesis papers to fictional stories), along with creating presentations. Whether it is fiction, poetry, history, or technical, it is important to find your style within the proper format. This enables a student's mind to add their special spark needed in a methodically formatted, carefully thought out paper (or presentation).
It may seem like writing and reading is all I do (and while during college it sure seemed like it), I do have a life outside of education. I enjoy going to the movies, especially if it's action/adventure or fantasy, I love riding my horse, I spend a great deal of time playing with my Dalmatian puppy, and I have a fair number of television shows I'm addicted to! There's also swimming, photo art, listening to alternative, indie, dubstep, and rock music, and hanging out with friends. I'm the type of person who relates to the artistic, creative, non-math and science folk and I want to share how I've learned to embrace that way of thinking because it is possible to be analytical and practical without losing any creativity.
Texas Tech University - BA, English
What is your teaching philosophy?
Every student is different, and therefore they should have an educator who is willing to understand their individual learning styles. My teaching philosophy is to embrace the student's natural talents and drive them to hone their existing skills so they can strengthen the problem areas with confidence in their own unique ability to learn and succeed.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
The first session can be awkward for the student at times, so I always like to take a relaxed approach so I can get to know my new student and the problems they are facing. This way, the student also gets to know me and that I want nothing more than to help them.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
While every student has their own learning style, it is important to start out teaching them ways to work independently, so I usually give them homework in the form of specific instructions of what to do to prepare for our next session. For example, if they are writing a paper, and we came up with a subject, then I would have the student fill out an outline of everything they want to write about within that subject. I provide the outline and explain how to write it, but the student fills it out. This would be the first step in helping them become an independent learner.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
The best way to keep a student motivated is to keep the subject as interesting as possible. If it's an essay they don't want to write, make the subject or sources as interesting as possible. However, sometimes there's just nothing that can spark inspiration, so you have to inspire the student to look inward for motivation. Don't do it because you have to; do it because you know you GOT THIS! Make it a challenge that you can win! Even the most boring and analytical writing can have that spark inside of it. It's your voice!
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
I always remind my students that the best part about reading comprehension is that the answer is always within the passage of the story. It's just like a puzzle, only instead of piece by piece, you go line by line finding the answer in the words. Simplifying what you read can be the best way to help a student who is struggling with comprehension. I do this by asking one question at a time until we get to where they need to be. It's important to never lose patience and never skip ahead, because it will take as long as it takes.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
The strategies that work best for the students I've had the pleasure of teaching is to be relaxed and open to their learning style, because in this way we can find out how to make their problem areas fun to learn! I also strive for repetition so they have a better chance of remembering what they learn. Usually, this starts off as annoying to the student, but every time, without fail, it becomes a challenge to win my approval! And I am always glad to show my pride every time they succeed!
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
As I stated earlier, I usually find a way to make a subject fun or interesting for my students. Although that's not possible every time. When this happens, I give them a light at the end of the tunnel. For example, one of my younger students did not want to do her homework as she wanted to finish coloring our educational game, so I told her that if she put her mind to it, it would be done so much faster, and we could not only work on our game but we could play it! She got her homework done in minutes, and she did it very well.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
There are many different techniques that I use, because every student has different needs. I pass on what I learned in college and what worked for different classes while repeatedly testing them in the material so we both feel confident that they understand it.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
I find that students do better when they know their educator believes in them on a personal level. It's not just that the teacher believes in them because they believe in all their students. I find their talents in their struggles and help them build the pride I have for them in themselves. So when they succeed, they feel it in my praise. I always want my students to know I believe in them, because it is the best way to have them realize the confidence they should have in themselves.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
I evaluate my student's needs by getting to know them as individuals. Once you get to know them, you know exactly how to help them learn. I adapt to their style as best I can while still being a teacher they can respond to as well.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
As previously stated, I get to know the students individually so I can adapt to their learning needs. Whether they need to be kept on track with a strict teacher, an understanding teacher, or a creative teacher, once I get to know what's best for the student's individual needs I can adapt to each.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
I usually stick with the materials the student has on hand since that's what they need most help with, but sometimes I do research on my own and bring in reading comprehension sheets or grammar practice and such.