I am a rather recent transport to Austin after living in the Dallas area for the past 13 years where I taught Kindergarten, First, and Third Grade in Plano ISD. Before Texas, I taught in Florida and Ohio. I am a native "Buckeye" with my roots being in Cleveland, Ohio. I have three amazing grown children scattered across the globe. I am a proud Mom of their accomplishments and desires to experience all life has to offer! I love my family, my dogs (Beau and Lily), hiking, yoga, good movies, books and keeping up with current global events. I currently teach Second Grade in the top ranked Eanes ISD. This past year I was named campus Teacher of the Year. I look forward to working one on one with students to help them build confidence and motivation to learn.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: Bowling Green State University - Bachelors, Elementary Education
Hiking, yoga, reading, movies, music
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
My philosophy is that each of us processes information in our own unique way. As a teacher, it is my responsibility to discover and present information to students in a way that they can relate to and make connections to their prior knowledge. When this happens, learning has meaning and students can comprehend at a higher level.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
I would have first found out from the parents what area of concern they had for their student. I would establish a rapport with the student (i.e., finding out what their interests are and their likes and dislikes). I would informally assess their current performance in the subject area then use that data to move forward with targeting instruction.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
Becoming an independent learner has a lot to do with a student's confidence level. I would make sure that the student had an opportunity to feel successful before moving on to harder material. I would set up a learning environment where it is okay for a student to take a risk when attempting something they are unsure of.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
Positive praise. Meaningful praise where they are made aware of exactly what they did well, not just a blanket "good job" type statement. I would use games and mix up strategies for problem solving.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
Present it in a different style (perhaps with manipulatives) if it is a math concept or a different genre in reading.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
Targeted questioning that offers a student the opportunity to infer, draw conclusions, find the main idea, or character study.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
If the subject is reading
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
Giving the student an opportunity to feel successful is the best way for a student to feel excited about learning. Breaking down material into chunks that the student can understand before more challenging material is presented is a good way to instill confidence.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
Frequent informal assessments throughout the sessions such as a math problem quick check.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
Confidence is built through success, so backing up enough to make sure the student really knows what it feels like to be successful is where I would start. Then, I would scaffold the lessons so the material is attainable and the student can experience mastery.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
In reading, I would do an informal reading inventory where I'd measure their accuracy, fluency, and comprehension. In math, I'd do some quick checks on a whiteboard to observe how the student solves a problem in computation or place value, for example.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
Flexibility is key to working with students. If the student is not responding or seeming to understand, I would change my approach and try a different method.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
For reading, I would use many leveled books of different genres. For phonics, I would use letter tiles to build words. In math, I would use base ten blocks, manipulatives to count, and whiteboards. Games are fun for learning too!