From teaching toddlers multiple languages, to tutoring senior citizens preparing for citizenship exams, I have had the pleasure of experiencing amazing people learning the beautiful Spanish language. Every student learns in a unique way. The better a teacher understands how a student learns, the more specific a tailor-made lesson plan can be made. The better a teacher understands what truly inspires a student, the better a teacher can introduce material in a way that will enrich their lives. It is my mission to learn not only the best method to teach my students but unlock a passion for language that can open worlds.
Juan Fernando’s Qualifications
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: School of the Art Institute of Chicago - Bachelor of Fine Arts, Designed Objects
SAT Composite: 1280
SAT Math: 580
SAT Verbal: 700
SAT Writing: 580
Composing, Musical Performance, Animated Film, Miniature Model Making, Painting, Soccer
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
From teaching toddlers multiple languages to tutoring senior citizens preparing for citizenship exams, I have had the pleasure of experiencing amazing people learning the beautiful Spanish language. Every student learns in a unique way. The better a teacher understands how a student learns, the more specific a tailor-made lesson plan can be made. The better a teacher understands what truly inspires a student, the better a teacher can introduce material in a way that will enrich their lives. It is my mission to learn the best method to teach my students and unlock a passion for language that can open worlds.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
It is important to get to know what motivates a student as well how the student learns. I would start by getting to know the student through conversation to build a rapport and develop a fun and effective tutoring strategy.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
To help students become independent learners, one must help familiarize them with all the resources available to learners as well as all the study techniques that would suit their learning style.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
I would help a student stay motivated by first learning what motivates that student to achieve their own personal and academic goals. With motivation, knowledge is power. Finding the right incentive comes from getting to know the student. It is unique to each individual.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
It is important to spend extra time in areas that a student struggles in. If one method of studying is not working, a tutor can implement different methods of studying that would better fit the student's learning style.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
In order to help a student struggling with reading comprehension, it is advisable to observe a student's process in reading and answering reading comprehension problems on a practice test. With a closer look at the student's process, the tutor can offer specific suggestions at different stages of the reading and answering process. The key is to take it slow and find strategies that are broken down into steps, so that the problem is less intimidating to tackle.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
I have found that warming up with some quick notecard rounds helps efficiently target the areas a student needs to work on the most. Incorporating casual conversation in Spanish sessions, in between topics, is a great way to review material, track progress, and illustrate real-world context of the day's lesson.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
I would get a student excited and engaged with a subject they are struggling in by showing them the applications of the subject in the real world. Presenting a topic in relation to a personal passion of a student will help peak their interest, as well as maintain an engaging, personalized atmosphere.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
I will review the material one-on-one in a conversational format, asking students to write and diagram key concepts to be sure they understand the material.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
I would build a student's confidence in a subject by providing a challenging tutoring session informed by the student's learning styles and pace. Moving too quickly could discourage the student, while moving too slowly could cause the student to lose interest.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
I would evaluate a student’s needs through a conversational assessment of past learning experiences and the subject of study. After that, I would see how the student does with different types of problems, phrased in different ways, to evaluate what the student needs to learn and the best method to teach the material.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
During a session, I typically use the student's class material, technology-based teaching tools, primary source material such as menus, flyers, and readings in Spanish, as well as good old-fashioned pen and paper.