I have a Masters Degree in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) from the University of Pennsylvania, and a Bachelors Degree in French. I am an experienced teacher and tutor of over 20 years. I have worked with students of all ages from kindergarten to college and am certified in several different areas: as an ESOL Specialist in grades K to 12; in English grades 7-12; and in French K-12. I also have achieved the prestigious National Board certification. During the school year, I'm a full time teacher in the Philadelphia public school system where I have taught for 15 years. Before working in the public school system, I was a college instructor at several local universities and colleges. Over the years, I have enjoyed tutoring students in different subjects, including ESL, Writing, Grammar, Literature, SAT Prep, College Essays and Applications and French. I firmly believe that every student can improve and be successful with motivation and dedication, and small group or one-on-one tutoring is often a more productive learning experience than being in a large classroom. In my free time, I enjoy gardening, travel, the beach, fossil and mineral collecting, history, cooking, and spending time relaxing with friends.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: Millersville University - Bachelor in Arts, French
Graduate Degree: University of PA - Master of Science, TESOL
gardening, fossil/mineral collecting, history, cooking
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
In the beginning, the student may be struggling to understand the material. First, during the tutoring session, I explain the concept in simple terms using several examples. Then, we practice doing the skill together. I guide the student as they work, answering any questions and correcting major errors until they become clear on how to do it. Finally, when I see they get the concept and feel more confident doing the work on their own, I assign homework, which is checked and gone over with them.
What is your teaching philosophy?
I believe every student can improve and achieve success. Tutoring one-on-one or in small groups is one of the best ways to help students be successful because of the individual attention and opportunity to ask questions that you don't find as a student in a large classroom.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
Encouragement and positive reinforcement are important. By modeling a concept through example, explaining it in simple terms, then practicing it together, I help a student understand a concept that they had found difficult to grasp. When the student is able to do practice questions successfully, they gain confidence that they can master the skill.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
In the beginning, I discuss with the student what they need and want from the tutoring sessions. I ask for a writing sample or give a short pre-test so that I can get an idea of the student's strengths and what areas we need to work on.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
Each person learns differently and at their own pace. I may need to adjust the materials I'm using, slow down or speed up the pace, add extra practice, or explain things in a different way. Having an open dialogue of frequent communication between the tutor and student is very important to make sure the student's needs are being met.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
I use a variety of different materials, depending on what the student's needs are.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
In the first session, I ask a few questions to determine what the student's needs and goals are and what they want to get out of the tutoring sessions. I may give a brief practice pre-test to give me an idea of the student's strengths and areas of weakness in the subject. Then, we start the first lesson.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, I explain it in simple terms in a way that is easy to understand. If the student still has trouble getting the concept, I explain it in a different way and provide different examples until they understand.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
As a teacher and tutor, I have taught reading strategies and reading comprehension for a number of years. Through practice of the skills necessary to be a good reader, students will improve their reading level and reading comprehension.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
Frequent positive feedback and encouragement are important. Seeing their own success provides the student good motivation to continue.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
By keeping an open line of communication with the student, monitoring their progress in practice activities and homework, and by asking and answering questions. All of this feedback lets me know how well a student understands the material and whether there is a need to re-teach the concept or add additional practice.