I am a graduate of University of Phoenix with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. I am also an alum of University of Northern Colorado. As I was finishing my degree, I was working full-time in the financial industries. Upon completion of my degree I decided to pursue my passion of teaching and have not looked back. I received my teaching license through an alternative license program through Metro State. As a teacher of four years, I have had the opportunity to work with students from Kindergarten up to 6th grade (where I currently teach Math). A number of years back I also lived and taught in Mexico for two years.
I am currently only tutoring math (for elementary and middle school aged students). I'm focused on math because of the importance it has in our daily lives. Aside from the ability to read, I don't think there is a skill that is in greater demand. That being said, I recognize that there are many aspects of Math that can be confusing. I like to employ chants and hand movements to help remember the vocabulary and methods necessary to be successful in Math.
Outside of the classroom, I love spending time with my family (wife, 4 kids, and a dog!). When I'm taking some time to myself, I can either be found reading a good book (I love most genres but hold a special place for Fantasy, Sci-Fi, and Dystopian books. or watching some sports on TV (Go Broncos!). I do enjoy to travel when funds and time allow. But mostly my time is spent ensuring that I'm helping my students be as successful as they can. I love tutoring because it helps me reach out and impact more student lives than I normally am able to.
Spending time with my family, reading, playing/watching sports, singing
1st Grade Math
1st Grade Reading
2nd Grade Math
2nd Grade Reading
3rd Grade Math
3rd Grade Reading
4th Grade Math
4th Grade Reading
5th Grade Math
5th Grade Reading
6th Grade Math
7th Grade Math
Elementary School Math
Elementary School Reading
High School English
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
During a first session with a student, I like to take time to understand both where the student is coming from academically and their feelings towards the subject they are receiving the tutoring in. I also like to understand a little more about what drives the student, their likes and dislikes outside of the educational world. Then, depending on the subject matter and where the student is trying to make growth, I will give a benchmark assessment to make sure we understand where the student is starting. I also set aside time to ensure that the student feels comfortable with asking any questions they might have.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
All students have the capacity to learn on their own. Most times, they either don't know how to accomplish this or they are lacking the drive. After I'm able to identify what they need to become an independent learner, I'll begin building their confidence in that area. If they need strategies, I will help them employ those strategies, teaching them what they should be doing when they are on their own. Otherwise, I will work on building their belief in themselves and showing them how learning independently can help them become successful.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
All students are unique, and skills and concepts can be learned in multiple ways. If one strategy doesn't work for a student, it means we just need to keep trying others until we're able to find the method that works for them.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
It will depend on the subject matter. If reading, then I'll bring appropriate leveled texts for the student to work with, along with questions to gauge their comprehension. For mathematics, I frequently use whiteboards with dry erase markers so we can work through many strategies without wasting paper. If I feel that manipulatives will help the student be successful, I will introduce those as well.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
Student motivation generally comes from success. When they feel like they are successful, they become interested in facing greater challenges. I make sure to present the student with the right amount of challenge to ensure that they are growing while feeling that they can succeed.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
The strategies I've found most successful when starting to work with a student are to first identify where students are with the fundamentals that will be needed to acquire mastery with the higher-level topics they are working on in school. Once students have mastered that concept, then they can begin focusing on the more difficult aspects of their grade level content.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
Frequent checks for understanding, having students demonstrate mastery through a variety of questions, culminating with having students come up with their own questions.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
Confidence is built through success. Even if the steps of success are small, confidence begins to grow. I look for those small steps initially, which will lead students to being able to walk then run. It's all about making sure the student doesn't feel like they are overwhelmed and that the task is manageable.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
Through initial data gathering. I'll ask questions and give problems that will help me to identify exactly where misconceptions and lack of information reside.