Receiving my B.A. from Howard Payne University (Brownwood, TX) in 1994 and my M.A. from Tarleton State University (Stephenville, TX) in 2000 helped prepare me to be an effective and knowledgable English teacher. I began teaching in 1996 while still working on my Master’s Thesis. For the past nineteen years I have actively taught and tutored students from a variety of grade levels through a wide assortment of courses, preps, and materials. Throughout this time, the one thing that has become apparent to me is that every student is capable of learning and doing well, and that there is never only one way to cover the material. As such, I work hard to find what works best for my students and reach them through their own interests and by making the subject as fun as possible. I particularly enjoy watching that lightbulb come on for the first time in the eyes of a student who didn’t think they would ever “get it.” When I’m not working, I enjoy spending time with my family, taking in a good movie, or working/playing outdoors. I hope we can work together to see to it that you are successful and doing your best possible work.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: Howard Payne University - Bachelor in Arts, English
Graduate Degree: Tarleton State University - Master of Arts, English
SAT Composite: 770
Family, Tennis, Movies, Construction Projects, Reading
ACCUPLACER Reading Comprehension Prep
ACCUPLACER Sentence Skills Prep
ACCUPLACER WritePlacer Prep
High School English
SAT Subject Tests Prep
Study Skills and Organization
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
Every student has areas of interest. In order to make the material accessible to students, I need to find ways to include their areas of interest into the subject matter.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
It completely depends on the student. If they have an area that they know requires work, I will have detailed materials to begin working through in an attempt to ascertain the issue. However, if they are unsure of where the issue is, I will begin probing with various questions and practice materials in order to ascertain the best method of approach for that particular student.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
My job is to help the student gain the skill necessary to be their own tutor. One of the first things I need to do is start building student confidence.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
Again, find ways to positively motivate the student and to continue to make the material enjoyable, but making it relevant to that student's interest.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
Reteach, but I need to alter the approach. Perhaps by altering focus from verbal to visual or auditory. Again, it is dependent on the student's grasp.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
Get them to read, first and foremost. Reading is most important thing to do here. However, I can use different reading materials to begin with. I may even use articles from Sports Illustrated.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
Discovering the student's areas of interest are the first things I focus on. If I can make my lessons fun and interesting, I have half of the battle already won. It’s easy to teach students who are interested in the materials.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
Apply the material to areas they are interested in already.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
Question and answer, discussion, quick writes, and quizzing
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
Show them that they already know more than they believe. Then help them navigate the materials several time, make it easy for them, then move forward. Then repeat.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
Simple questions to begin with, followed by a look at their work, or quick production of work.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
Everything is student centered. This is why ascertaining the student's likes and dislikes is so important.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
It completely depends on what is being covered.