I received a Bachelors of Arts in history from Lake Forest College, Lake Forest Illinois and then a paralegal certificate with honors from Roosevelt University in Chicago.
Between Lake Forest and going to Roosevelt, I taught English at all levels, and history, literature and philosophy to high school students in Guadalajara, Mexico. Also, I was an editor for a high school English Composition Class. This involved reading the assigned topics along with the students, helping them form their thesis statements, and then assisting them in writing a high quality essay. Many of my students used their work as part of the entrance requirements to colleges and universities in the United States.
Deciphering grammar in both English and Spanish is not always easy. The mechanics of any language are complex and at times confusing. Also, what sounds best is not always correct. I love to help my students reach their goal of having excellent skills in both English and Spanish.
Another subject I enjoy is math up to pre-algebra. When I was in school, math was a struggle for me. Now as an adult, I have a good understanding of it and empathy for those who find it difficult. Finally, I have had experience in teaching science and history and can do a great job if I am given the material in advance to prepare.
My teaching style is based on my relationship with my students. I try to get a feel for my student’s interests and design my lessons based on them. Once I had a student who wanted to be a fashion designer. We looked at articles and videos in Spanish about fashion to help her better understand how the subjunctive worked. Textbooks are great places to start, but students have to see that language is a way to express all types of ideas and not just a compilation of exercises.
I have a great imagination that helps me find fun lessons for my students that help them learn and enjoy the subject as well. In addition, I find it fun to talk to my students and get to know them. When I was in Mexico, a group of my students had to make a video for a pre-engineering class, and I helped them with suggestions at each stage of the video. The final product was amazing, and I was very proud of them.
When I am not working, I love to swim. For the last two years, I have been a dedicated member of the Evanston Wildcat Maters Swim Team and won “Most Improved Female Swimmer of the Year.” Also I love to travel and study. Last summer I went to Costa Rica and took an advanced Spanish immersion class and then traveled all over Costa Rica on the weekends.
I hope you will read this over and contact me. You will be pleasantly surprised at how you will improve in your studies. Thank you for your time!
Lake Forest College - BA, History
10th Grade Reading
ACCUPLACER ESL Prep
ACCUPLACER ESL - Listening Prep
ACCUPLACER ESL - Reading Skills Prep
ACCUPLACER ESL - Sentence Meaning Prep
ACCUPLACER Language Use Prep
Elementary School Math
HSPT Language Skills Prep
HSPT Reading Prep
HSPT Verbal Prep
Study Skills and Organization
What is your teaching philosophy?
My teaching philosophy is centered around my students. With them, I try to figure out how they learn best and plan lessons around their learning style. For example, if someone is very visual, then I have him/her draw pictures to help remember vocabulary words, but I also make suggestions of strategies that I think might help someone learn. I usually prepare a plan A and a plan B for my students.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
Talk to the student and figure out what he/she wants from the lessons. Then, I try to nail down exactly where the problem is. For example, I had one student who did not understand irregular verbs in Spanish, so we focused on that. I also invite the parents into the session and talk to them about their goals for their children.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
My philosophy is that I first show the student how to do something; then, we do it together; finally, the student does it on his/her own.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
By making reachable goals for the student, helping them achieve them, and then acknowledging their achievements.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
1. If it is something like basic math, I will use a lot of manipulatives like base 10 blocks. 2. With reading, I will reread the material with my student and go over it. 3. With Spanish concepts, such as vocabulary, I will try to point out cognates in English. If this does not work, I will try to find rhymes or some other way to make an association to the word. Also, with vocabulary, I will go over it many times with my students and leave extra work if needed.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
1. I try to analyze the problem. Does he/she need help with vocabulary? If this is the problem, then I go over the words with my student. 2. If there is still a problem, I will read the selection with the student and highlight the important parts. Next, I will go over it and make sure that he/she understands the reading. 3. I have read that people make sense out of texts by making pictures in their head. I think this is true, and when my students are having trouble with comprehension, I try to get them to make a picture in their head of what is happening in the text.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
1. Introduce myself and try to get to know a little about the student. 2. If the student is an adolescent, I will ask him/her if certain learning strategies have been helpful. Then, I might suggest some other ways of learning the material such as making flashcards and repetition. If it is a young child (like one of my students), then I will watch the student in order to see what type of learner he/she is. For example, I have a young student who is a great artist and learns best visually.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
1. One way I got a student excited about Spanish was listening to songs on YouTube with him and teaching him the lyrics to the songs in both English and Spanish. 2. With another student whose mother wanted him to read more (and he did not want to do so), I created discussions about the book that were geared towards his interests in designing and engineering. 3. I have a young student who needs to improve in counting by 2s and 3s, so I found some very good counting songs on YouTube that she likes.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
Quizzes that are either oral or written.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
1. With my young student, I give her incentives to earn stickers (which she loves), and I tell her over and over again how well she is doing. Also, she loves to draw, so I build my lessons around her art. During the last lesson, she drew some mermaids, so we wrote a story about mermaids. She seemed to feel very good about it. She does not like math, so I am trying to create a math unit with her favorite "mermaids." 2. With older students, I give them short quizzes, so they can see that they are doing better. Also, I always find something to praise in their work. I believe that there is always something positive in everything we do!
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
1. With older students, I talk to them and try to find out where they feel they need help. Also, I will talk to the parents. For example, I had one student who scored very low on reading and writing but was reluctant to work in these areas. We made a plan that worked well for both him and his parents. 2. With my younger student, I brought a lot of worksheets that were at her level. They helped me see what she needed, so I was able to plan accordingly in the next lessons.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
As I am working with my students, I make notes to myself on what they need. For example, I had one student who I noticed needed a lot of help with grammar, so I found some material to help her. Another student seemed very confused about the two past tenses in Spanish, so I found some passages in literature that I thought might help him better see how they are used. Also, I found a very good website that he said helped him a lot.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
1. With my young student, I use a lot of worksheets and games like the card game "War" (but with two cards that each player puts down and has to add). The person with the highest sum gets the cards. Also I taught her how to use > and < by using "Greedy Greta." If you use the < sign and make it into a mouth, you will see that the teeth are pointing towards the greater quantity ( 5<7). 2. For my high school students who are having trouble in Spanish, I use their textbooks in Spanish plus websites that I think will help them. In addition, I find songs on YouTube for them. If the students are having trouble with reading, I find guided reading questions for them. Also, I pick out vocabulary words. If my student needs to write an essay, I help them outline it.