I have been working and tutoring children for over 15 years. I hold degrees in Childhood Education, Literacy and Students with Disabilities and have been fortunate enough to work in the school setting in all three areas. I focus on making each experience with children memorable and related to real life situations. I am passionate about teaching and enjoy bringing reading and literacy into every day activities.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: SUNY New Paltz - Bachelors, Childhood Education
Graduate Degree: Hofstra University - Masters, Literacy Studies
photography, reading, arts and crafts
What is your teaching philosophy?
I believe that through teaching, I can create an enjoyable learning experience. I thrive on engaging students who are at various levels of learning, using modifications if needed. I also strive in creating continued communication to encourage active participation in the learning process for each child with all relevant members of their life. Overall, I focus on being a compassionate and enthusiastic teacher who enjoys taking a 'simple' lesson and turning it into an experience in which students will learn from, make connections to, and remember.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
A first lesson typically includes me getting to know the student, not just academically, but as a child. I converse about topics that matter to the child, such as a sport they play, a movie they just watched. I show the child that I am not just a teacher, but also someone who can relate to ideas that can be a struggle. I encourage the child to ask me questions so that we can build a rapport that will help foster the learning process. I also try to assess the child academically by providing grade level activities to gauge strengths and weaknesses that will later be incorporated into lessons.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
I can help a student become an independent learner by helping them see the world as their learning place, not just the classroom. I try to engage students in thinking about their real life experiences to encourage them to want to learn about their surroundings, not just a story they read.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
I help students stay motivated by having them assess themselves as learners. They tell me what they feel are their strengths and weaknesses and what they feel I can do to help them succeed. I also incorporate interesting topics, which the child would have expressed to me in the initial session, to make learning fun.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
If a student has difficulty learning a concept or skill, I try to find other ways to teach it. Children think in different ways, so our jobs as teachers are to modify and even learn about topics and concepts in ways we have never done before in order to help our students.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
One main technique that I use to help students with reading comprehension includes getting their background knowledge about a topic before we read about it. Therefore, they can include their experiences to help them understand the reading. I also have students break down the reading paragraph by paragraph and recap each one to check for understanding before moving to the next part of the reading.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
Some of the strategies that I find most useful include getting the child's background knowledge about topics and their interests. This is my way to engage them.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
I try to get students excited by showing my interests in the topic. A teacher can always take a subject and build it around a child. For instance, if a child was struggling with word problems, I would create a problem based on their real life. If the child was struggling with reading, I would create a story about their life.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
I find that if a student can create a piece of material themselves, it shows a true understanding. For example, if we are working on identifying geometric shapes, I would have the child create an activity for me. They would not only create it but also create an answer key. This would show their true understanding.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
Everyone needs to be praised for their accomplishments. If a child is excelling or struggling in a subject, offer positive reinforcement as much as possible. I would show the child that I am there to support them. This usually builds their confidence.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
Students can be evaluated through assessments, oral discussions, activities, and day-to-day conversations. I can gather this information from the child themselves, a test, their parents, and by seeing how the student independently works through problems by having them explain their solution.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
I adapt my tutoring by using a variety of resources, teaching techniques, and activities. I try to break up tutoring session by including some time for every day discussions and by having the child share information about their day/ week.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
My material is based on the child's needs. I use many online resources, along with my own personal visuals, such as flash cards and math manipulatives.