Do you remember that teacher from when you were in school? Not A teacher. THAT teacher. The one that stayed late after class to tutor you. The one that gave you the confidence to push yourself further and to work harder. The one you would want to see one more time so you can tell them what a difference they made. What was their name? For me his name was Mr. Walker, and I know that I would not be where I am today is it was not for him. I did not get into this profession to be a teacher. I was called to this profession to be THAT teacher.
The funny thing about being THAT teacher, though, is that they are never just a teacher. Often, they take on whatever roles they need to in order to make a difference. So, although I have only been at this for half a decade, I have always attempted not just to be the best teacher but to be the best curriculum coordinator, data analyst, or counselor I can be. When my school switched to Common Core Standards I volunteered to make sure these standards were implemented in a way that built off of the curriculum we already had in place. When thirty-four of our students were not going to graduate because of their NECAP score, I analyzed every piece of data available to best identify the gaps those students had. And after my administration met with these students and their parents I created and taught a summer camp to address these gaps.
I hope you will give me the opportunity to be THAT teacher for you. I appreciate your time and hope to speak with you soon.
Rhode Island College - BA, Secondary Education in Mathematics
Providence College - MA, Teaching Mathematics
What is your teaching philosophy?
I am a facilitator who leads by example. How I behave, how I think through a problem, how I handle different situations are all modeling for students to see the proper way to think about complex ideas and create habits for them to use in the future. I am facilitating this process. I can't do it for them or they will not learn. I can't have them just watch or they will not retain it. Students need to explore, manipulate, and learn from one another through teamwork. They also should find their own mistakes, and learn from them.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
Get to know them and try to find where the gaps in their understanding are.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
Teach them their thinking process and how to break down a problem.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
Boost their confidence first with something I already know that they are capable of.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
Try to break it down further or explain the concept in multiple ways, maybe using their personal interests.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
Teach them how to break down a word problem using just a few keywords.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
Being personable and approachable.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
Try to connect it to something they hope to do in the future.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
Give them simple and informal formative assessments with a little more each time.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
Help them see their ability by giving them simple problems and scaffolding them up slowly while showing them the parallels between what they have already learned and what they are now working on.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
Through conversation and simple problems that use various skills.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
I gear my examples and explanations towards their interests and abilities.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
Pencil and paper.