I have always loved languages and traveling to new places. I have lived in Spain and Italy and love the people and cultures. I have two masters degrees, one in Education from Dominican University and the other in Spanish Linguistics from University of Illinois at Chicago. I also have my ESL endorsement and enjoy teaching reading. Reading opens the door to all learning. I have taught Spanish and Italian to all ages. I enjoy using music and stories to create memorable learning experiences and help in verbal proficiency. Developing a meaningful connection and making it fun enhances learning languages. I love reading, singing and playing guitar, juggling, zumba and playing volleyball.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: Elmhurst College - Bachelor of Science, Psychology /Spanish
Elementary School Math
High School English
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
I am student-centered. The students' interests and goals determine the content of lessons. The students' learning preferences and comprehension of concepts set the pace. Student success is essential.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
First, I clarify goals. I explore the student's interests so I can relate content and make it more motivational. I use different strategies to find preferred methods and identify strengths and challenges.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
It is important to assist the student in becoming independent. I follow the I do (I model), we do (we do the skill together), you do (you do the skill on your own) model. This makes it safe to learn new concepts. I also make it clear to students that forgetting an answer helps you pay attention to it more to remember it next time. Everybody makes mistakes, and we can practice skills to improve. Lastly, not knowing something is not an issue when you can learn how to get the information and some strategies to learn it and make it yours.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
Finding out their interests and preferred strategies helps with motivation. When a student has choice and control, motivation is increased. Pacing and novelty are important, as is paying attention to a student's frustration level for changing activities.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
Try to ask the student to verbalize their thinking so I can determine where the stumbling block is. I try to ask them to rely on their intuition and take a guess before I tell them the right answer. This way, they know the questions to ask themselves when I'm not there.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
When a student struggles with comprehension, frequently it is due to sounding out or identifying the words- not focusing on the meaning. I ask text-related questions to do a comprehension check or definitions of words I think might be misunderstood. Sometimes I like to read to them so they can see the words and concentrate on meaning.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
Finding out their interests and learning preferences help with pacing, content, and rapport building.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
Real-life application and connection to their world helps students realize the importance of the subject. Also, whenever possible, I try to incorporate music, stories, and fun interpersonal activities.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
I ask, probe, and quiz to make sure material is understood.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
I find out where the student is at, give honest positive feedback as to what they are doing well, and set manageable goals for next steps. Success breeds success.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
I ask questions, listen carefully to responses, and do frequent pre- and formative assessments to make sure we are on the right track.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
I make sure the student knows s/he can stop me and ask questions. I gauge interest in activities and accentuate the positive. It is important to scaffold for challenging material to make it accessible.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
Reference materials, songs, books, some apps, and technology. I like color-coding important changes so they stand out. I like the student to have a recording journal.