My goal with all my students is to engage them in a deeper understanding and appreciation of the education they are receiving. I believe that students need to connect to their learning in order to be successful and happy.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: University of Houston - Bachelor in Arts, History
High School Business
High School Economics
High School English
High School Geography
What is your teaching philosophy?
I believe that the most effective teachers make a connection to their students so that they can customize their teaching to the students' individual needs. An educator's main job is to engage their students into becoming the leader/director of their own education, while providing information, support, and guidance during the learning process.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
Review the syllabus of the course or courses we are going to be working through. Then I would assess the student's schedule and current study plan. We would then create or revise a study plan for the student before diving into the assignments that are due for that student. Before the end of the session, I would review the schedule and give some tips on how to troubleshoot any problems that arise between the tutoring sessions.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
To make a student an independent learner, I would have to make sure that they feel connected to the material they are covering. I would also make sure that I emphasize that the mastery of skills is a building process and that you must continually add to the knowledge they have. If the student is struggling or uninterested in a particular topic or subject, I would make sure to find a topic they enjoy and relate it to the task at hand.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
I would keep a student motivated by emphasizing improvement as the measure of success. It doesn't matter if they haven't mastered a topic day to day or week to week, as long as they are consistently improving and working towards the goal of mastery.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
If a student were having difficulty with a certain topic or concept, I would begin to break down the material into small pieces of information and "unpack" the concept for them. If the student is still struggling, I would rework their study schedule and incorporate external materials on the subject such as multimedia tools or educational website resources.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
With reading comprehension, it helps to build guides for students to use while reading independently. If they are reading fiction for critical reading, I, as their tutor, can help come up with a basic rubric of things to pay attention to such as archetypes, symbolism, plot elements, etc. This helps to highlight the points the students will be tested on and gives the basis of an outline for essays on the reading. It is also important to connect the student's prior knowledge in their reading comprehension. A lot of the time students may not quite grasp the material they are reading right away, but if you discuss the material with them and relate it to material they are familiar with, they gain not only understanding but also confidence in their ability to read new information and make informed inferences, which leads to understanding of a new topic.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
Firstly, I learn about my student's favorite subjects and why they chose them. I then learn their weakest subjects, and I try to make connections between what they like (and are most likely to be good at) and what they struggle with. I also find that it is important to set a structure for the tutoring sessions as well as the student's weekly study schedule. It is also important to share these structures with the student's parents so there will always be support for the learning plan.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
I would try to make connections to subjects that the student enjoys. I would also make sure to break down the subject so that the student is learning smaller pieces of information and can therefore master skills each day. I could also come up with a reward plan for the student that provides tangible positive outcomes and incentives to continue pursuing a difficult subject.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
Review and discussion helps ensure that a student can not only regurgitate facts and figures but also show that the student has absorbed the topic and can build further knowledge.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
By working with small "packets" of information and adding to their overall fluency in the subject incrementally.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
By assessing the student's previous academic performance, and by setting learning goals with the student. By working towards specific goals, the student and I have concrete areas to work on.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
By finding out what motivates a student and adjusting my strategies to that. Every student is different, and they will always do better when they are working towards something they care about.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
The student's textbooks, worksheets, and other class materials. If I have supplemental materials in my own collection, I can utilize those. I also try to find websites or apps that can make learning fun.