A photo of Hector, a tutor from J Sargeant Reynolds Community College

Hector

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As a bilingual tutor, creating a sense of excitement about the Spanish language is something that I am very passionate about. I believe that learning a second language is crucial, as it will build a foundation for a future full of possibilities and a positive attitude. When I tutor, I create an atmosphere in which students feel they can evolve and where they feel at ease whatever their ability. Foreign language is an area of education that I am very enthusiastic about, and I would like the opportunity to make learning for others as enjoyable and fulfilling as learning English as a second language was for me.

I have tutored at College level at J Sargeant Reynolds Community College which provided me with an invaluable experience and insight into different mentoring styles and assessment strategies. I was highly recommended by Professor Carson for his Spanish 101-102 students, along with intermediate Spanish for the advanced class. I found this experience to be very rewarding. As with most students, each one has different needs/learning styles. I work with the strengths to focus on the weaknesses by using method of association.

I believe very much in Allie Mooney’s motto: “If you can reach me, then you can teach me.” I strive to create a constructive atmosphere by praising students while encouraging positive learning behaviors. This approach has proven to encourage my students thus far.

My goal is to combine my range of experiences with my ability to be a compassionate, enthusiastic, and approachable practitioner who will make a positive contribution to your student(s). My academic experiences to date will provide a solid foundation to build on (and transfer) my knowledge and skills into providing the best learning environment.

My own academic experiences have strengthened my belief in the great importance of education and helped me develop a number of key skills and qualities which have enabled me to develop as a scholar and a person. I am diligent, determined, committed, and very patient.

My hobbies include a wide variety of interests, such as: fitness and sports, music and arts, meditative literature, travel, and charities.

Hector’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: J Sargeant Reynolds Community College - Associates, Liberal Arts & Hummanities

Hobbies

Sports/Fitness/Music/Arts/Literature/Charities/Travel

Tutoring Subjects

College English

Conversational Spanish

English

ESL/ELL

High School English

Languages

Spanish

Spanish 1

Spanish 2


Q & A

What is your teaching philosophy?

My teaching philosophy is that all students want to learn, and that it is my job as a tutor to connect what they want to learn with what is already important to them in their lives. Once the student feels a connection between the lesson and their own interests, they will take their learning seriously. In shorter form, find ways to tap into students' natural motivation to learn and then act as their coach while they lead the way. All of this is premised on the belief that we learn what we are motivated to learn.

What might you do in a typical first session with a student?

I normally go through introductions and get to know the student, their goals, where they are and where they'd like to be. I also get a feel for where their strength and weaknesses are, so that I can plan what areas we need to work on the most while we continue to build on the strengths.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

I assist in becoming an independent learner by providing the student with programs to assist with learning via apps and additional online interactive programs, as well as books.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

I will follow up in between sessions with the student to see how they are doing, and if they need help or encountered a roadblock along the way.

If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?

I will re-assess the student's concept and help with learning skills by association. Often, students need to have their course be relevant to what they currently do on a day-to-day basis. Start with the basics and build on expanding their skills.

How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?

I normally spend more time with students that are struggling with reading comprehension, by fine tuning the material at hand and offering assistance with pronunciation and reading.

What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?

Sectioning the student goals usually works best for most. Starting from the crucial beginning steps and working up to the more complex as we go along seems to pay off in the learning process best.

How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?

I love giving choices. There are so many ways to teach and demonstrate one concept. Fine-tune the subject. We're most motivated to learn when the task before us is matched to our level of skill: not so easy as to be boring and not so hard as to be frustrating. Once the student is tuned into the subject, then we can gradually go deeper into the matter while encouraging the student to beat their personal best.

What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?

I normally start with helping students understand their questions, while not giving away the answer. Just as one would approach a puzzle. Discovering the solution to a puzzle is invigorating.

How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?

By going deep into the subject. Most subjects can be interesting once you get deep into it. Have the pupil become a world-expert on one small aspect of the material to be learned, and then extend their new expertise outward by exploring how the piece they know so well connects to all the other pieces (like a puzzle) they need to know about. Follow this with weekly overviews and repetitions.

How do you evaluate a student's needs?

In order to gain a comprehensive understanding of a student's abilities and strengths, I look at a variety of assessment information.

How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?

I start by acknowledging and validating the student's emotions. Letting them share their emotional experiences of struggles at school, college or university will help determine where to begin. I also believe in minimizing talking in order to maximize listening to the student. This means doing active listening to every aspect of the student's verbal and nonverbal communication while encouraging them to become involved in the mutual effort to discover for themselves what works best for them.

What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?

I usually follow the student's school materials. However, I also like introducing students to mobile apps as a fun tool to encourage learning the second language, as it is a fun and interactive way of learning as you go along. It is Fun-tastic!