I recently retired from a very successful and satisfying career as a high school French teacher. I taught for 38 years and can honestly say that I loved every minute of it. Shortly after retirement, I realized that I truly missed working with young people and sharing my passion for learning French - and learning in general - with them. I earned my Bachelor's Degree from Colorado State University and my Master's Degree in French Language and Literature from Middlebury College Graduate School of French in Paris, France. I have traveled extensively in France, alone or with friends, or with numerous groups of my own students. I speak French with near-native fluency and feel that I understand the language well enough to be able to approach its grammar and pronunciation complexities from many different perspectives. Because of this, I feel that I am able to better adapt lessons to a pupil's individual needs. Also, I was once a struggling French student myself, so I can understand how difficult learning this language can be. In my teaching career, I was well known form my gentle and very welcoming way of working with young people. Although I love teaching French, I am also a competent writer in English. During my teaching career, I also worked as an Instructional Facilitator. In this capacity, I helped many young people improve their writing skills, public speaking abilities and understanding of English grammar. In my spare time, I enjoy experiencing all the cultural activities available in the Denver area. I especially enjoy visiting the Denver Art Museum and seeing the great musical theater presentations at the Buell. I enjoy all types of movies, reading, sketching and personal creative writing.
Undergraduate Degree: Colorado State University-Fort Collins - Bachelor in Arts, French
Graduate Degree: Middlebury College - Master of Arts, French Language and Literature
Attending cultural events, musical theater, going to movies, reading, sketching and creative personal writing
What is your teaching philosophy?
I try my best to create lessons that respond to a pupil's academic needs and learning styles.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
A pupil's best chance at becoming an independent learner stems from his/her teacher creating meaningful, authentic, fun and (hopefully) inspiring lessons. He/she also needs to feel assured that his/her tutor is a strong learning partner.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
It is my responsibility to create fun, meaningful lessons for the student. I also need to maintain a safe, comfortable and welcome learning environment.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
When a student is struggling, I work hard to create a variety of lessons that target the struggles from different perspectives.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
Struggling readers need a kind, patient, gentle, yet skilled teacher.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
During the first session, I would attempt to assess the student's struggles through general conversation as well as through some written and speaking activities. I would make certain that I understand exactly what the student hoped to accomplish during our time together. In addition, it would be important to establish a workable schedule and meeting place.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
When working with a new student, I always try my best to make the sessions fun and comfortable. I try to create a wide variety of lessons, so that I can have a better idea of the student's learning styles. It is also very important to evaluate early lessons, find out what's working and what isn't, and make certain the student is profiting from our time together.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
Improved engagement comes from thoughtful, fun, and creative lessons. It is my responsibility to provide those types of lessons for the struggling student. Lessons should also respond to the student's strongest learning style needs.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
Lessons should be structured well enough to allow for review and comprehension checks. Offering some homework in the form of short, easy, non-threatening quizzes might also help guide my lesson preparation.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
A good teacher can build a student's confidence through meaningful praise and encouragement. A good, structured lesson plan, that responds as closely as possible to the student's needs will provide opportunities for success and growth as well as building confidence.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
Evaluation is ongoing. During each lesson, I am making mental notes regarding how to change and adapt subsequent lessons to respond better to the student's needs. Simple comprehension checks are also reliable evaluation tools.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
My job as a tutor is to understand which types of lessons complement a student's learning style. Lessons should be varied accordingly. A student's struggles must be approached from different perspectives and through creative, structured lesson planning.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
For the most part, I use paper/pencil types of activities. I also rely heavily on activities that require verbal responses to listening prompts. If I can find useful activities online, I will use a laptop or refer a student to a specific website.