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Mishell

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I am currently a science teacher with Hillsborough county public schools certified to teach Biology 6-12. I teach high school biology, and anatomy and physiology. I have also taught middle school science grades 6-8. My personal philosophy is that everyone can learn science, and the key to that learning is to make it personal and hands on. Once science is brought to a personal level, it is much easier to understand.

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Mishell’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: Univresity of Tampa - Bachelor of Science, Biology, General

Graduate Degree: University of Tampa - Master of Arts, Teaching

Hobbies

In my spare time I enjoy crochet, reading, singing, and playing the piano.

Tutoring Subjects

6th Grade Science

7th Grade Science

8th Grade Science

ACT Reading

ACT Science

Biology

College Biology

Elementary Math

Elementary School Math

Elementary School Science

Florida EOC Assessment Prep

General Biology

High School Biology

High School Chemistry

HSPT Reading Prep

HSPT Verbal Prep

IB Biology

IB Biology SL

Life Sciences

Math

Middle School Science

Music

Music Theory

Other

Reading

Science

Summer

Test Prep


Q & A

What is your teaching philosophy?

I believe that all students can be successful, and it is a matter of finding their best learning style. I believe that learning should be mobile, and students should have an opportunity to experience the content. Once the content becomes personal, it makes more sense.

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

In a first session, I would spend some time getting to know the student, and finding out what they think are some of their strengths and weaknesses. I would also be very interested in their hobbies, as that information may help me make the content more interesting to them.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

I believe in teaching students good study habits. Once a student learns how to manage their time and workload, that helps them to become more independent as a learner. I am also big on I-we-you; in other words, when students are learning something new or difficult, I do one problem first, then we do one together, and then they try one on their own. This scaffolding helps students to become more confident in their abilities.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

Students should have the opportunity to experience small successes. I like to have these moments in my work with students. It helps to keep them motivated when they see that they can do the task. Also, I believe in integrating real life into content. For example, if a student loves football, we could learn math by looking at statistics on different players.

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

If a student is having a hard time with a skill, my first action would be to review the basics concepts associated with that topic. Once students have a grasp of the basics, if they are still struggling, I try a more hands on approach, bringing in models or videos.

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

For students who struggle with reading comprehension, the key is scaffolding. I would begin with a piece of text the relates to one of the student’s interests. We would then make predictions based on the title and any pictures or diagrams. In the beginning, depending on how much work the student needs, I may continue by having them answer text dependent questions about the text. As they become better readers, and understand more, I would move to having them summarize some paragraphs without questions, and then having them develop their own questions.

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

Encouragement and positive feedback is the most successful tool I have. I use the growth mindset with my students, and always encourage them to shoot for their best. I remind them that when something is not correct, it is not failure, but a necessary stepping stone to help them understand better. Modeling for students how to approach a skill or concept is also another strategy I use.

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

I always try to tailor the content I present to students in tutoring to their personal interests. If I can make the topic they are having trouble with more personal and relevant, they become more engaged.

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

I believe that formative assessments are a great tool to assess where students are with comprehension of content. I use assessments like multiple choice questions, quick writes, and practice problems to help me see where students are in their understanding.

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

I build a student's confidence with small steps, and appropriate material. I always start out with the basics, and build. Every session will always have opportunities for students to experience success with the content. This will in turn help to boost their confidence.

How do you evaluate a student's needs?

After the initial getting to know you portion of tutoring, I have students take an evaluative assessment so that I can see the areas we need to focus on. This assessment will cover what the students should know up to that point in that content.

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

If I find that students need more help in a particular area, I will adjust my strategies. I may spend a little more time on those skills that the student needs more development in, and then assign take home practice.

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

During a tutoring session, we may use a practice workbook, depending on the content, and also manipulatives like a whiteboard.


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