I was born and raised in Central Florida, the eldest child with three younger sisters. I have always enjoyed learning and explaining concepts to others, a joy that led me to earn my Masters in Elementary Education and made me passionate about the education of others. I tutor because I want to share how learning can be fun and accessible to anyone as long as they find the tools that suit their learning needs. Not every child will learn the same way, so I do not assist children in a one-size-fits-all style. It is important to note that my goal is not just for your child to get everything right, but to actually understand the concept.
I enjoy reading and writing in my spare time which is an outlet for my constant drive to learn and understand. My reading interests range broadly from fantasy to historical to theological works with C.S. Lewis being my favorite author. I am an avid sports fan with a preference for college sporting events.
I come from a large extended family and enjoy getting together with family whenever we can. Ours is a culture of food and cooking, so I spend many hours a week in the kitchen trying out new recipes and favorites alike.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: University of Central Florida - Bachelor of Science, Restaurant Management
Graduate Degree: University of Central Florida - Master of Arts, Elementar Education
Likes to read. Writes a lot, wants to be an author.
College Level American History
Elementary School Math
High School Chemistry
High School English
High School Level American History
Middle School Science
What is your teaching philosophy?
I believe all children can learn, but that children learn in unique ways based on their own personalities. As a tutor or teacher, my philosophy is to get to know my student and his or her strengths so that I can provide targeted support and instruction that will be understandable and meaning.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
The first session is important for building a relationship with the student. I spend some time getting to know the student and letting them know some things about me. Trust is important so that the student will open up and freely discuss what they don't understand. In the first session, I try to make the student feel comfortable and let him or her know that I'm there to help them with whatever they may need. I then spend some time getting a feel for what the student already knows, and work to find those areas where we can build a greater understanding.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
Becoming an independent learner is all about the student having the right tools in his or her academic toolbox. This involves ensuring that the student has a solid foundation of prior knowledge and skills so that they can fully engage in the subject matter and information that they are currently working on. I model the strategies the student needs to be successful with the material, then walk them through using those strategies until he or she feels comfortable and confident in using the strategies alone.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
If a student has difficulty with a skill, the first thing I do is to model the skill for them again so he or she can see how it works. Then, I walk through the skill or concept with the student. If he or she is still having difficulties with the skill, then I use a different strategy or approach to presenting the skill to them, such as using visuals or manipulatives so that the skill is more hands-on and visual.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
The first thing I do is to watch the student read. This lets me know if they are trying to read too fast, or if they are having trouble recognizing sight words or phonetic components. After we determine what the cause of the reading comprehension struggle is, then I can more precisely instruct so that comprehension increases. One very important step is to make sure the student is trying to read material that interests them. Being engaged with the story will help the student want to read, which will make comprehension more meaningful.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
I find one of the best ways to excite and engage students is to try and make the subject mater fun and relevant. I give examples of how we may use the subject matter every day, or how it is seen in different aspects of the real world. Using games or manipulatives, depending on the subject matter, also helps by allowing the learning to be hands-on.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
One of the most powerful checks for understanding is by simply asking "why?" when a student gives you a right or wrong answer. I like to have my students verbally explain to me why they did something or why they choose a particular answer. This lets me check to see if they have any misconceptions, and how far down the right path of the concept they are. Having students make up their own problems or questions about material once they feel like they have it down is another good way of seeing how deep their understanding really is.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
I build confidence by giving praise when students show progress with a concept, not simply for giving a correct answer. I also like to have students "teach" me the concept. Being able to walk me through a problem and instruct me in how to do it gives them a sense of ownership of the subject.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
I start with a sample problem or question that the student or parent feels is the deficient area. Based on the student's thought process and answer to that question, I use other problems that contain skills that should be prior knowledge and necessary to solving the original question. In this way, I get a better understanding of what the student's needs are.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
I use a variety of strategies, manipulatives, and approaches. If a student is not understanding or progressing with one strategy, I switch to another and see if that will be more successful. Not all strategies or approaches work for all students; students are individual and have individual needs. The key is to find out what works best for each child.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
It depends on the subject that I am tutoring, but some form of manipulative or other hands-on material is normally used. Technology is also useful at times, especially in the form of games that reinforce material once it is learned.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
Positive reinforcement and praise are great ways of keeping a student motivated. I like to tell students when they are doing a good job while learning a concept they are struggling with, not just at the end if they get a correct answer. When students feel like they are making progress, it motivates them to continue and shows them that they really can do this.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
When I first start working with a new student, I like to try and make the student feel comfortable and relaxed. This really helps so that the student will start to trust me and share with me the things that are difficult for him or her. I also like to have the student tell me about what he or she knows regarding the subject material to get a good start on what we may need to work on in future sessions.