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Nicole

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I believe that every student can learn. I have worked with students of all ages and competencies, and have experience differentiating instruction so that every student can be successful. While working with students, I observe each individual to see how each student learns, and then teach the student the way that will work the best for him or her. This may change based on subject matter or concepts.

I am a certified teacher for students Preschool through 8th grade, with additional certifications in Special Education and Middle School Mathematics. I encourage students to work through problems, and offer guidance or direct instruction throughout when needed. Parental input on student struggles and strengths are also important to the success of each student. Positive reinforcement during tutoring sessions allows students to feel more comfortable, and gives them the confidence to transfer new knowledge to the classroom, which is ultimately the goal of all tutoring sessions.

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Nicole’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: Saint Peter's College - Bachelor in Arts, Elementary Education

Hobbies

I am a mother of two children, and spend a lot of my time with my children. My favorite sports to watch are hockey, football, and baseball. I enjoy reading on my Kindle and spending time out at fairs, parks, and festivals.

Tutoring Subjects

Algebra

College English

Elementary Math

Elementary School Math

English

High School English

Homework Support

HSPT Prep

ISEE Prep

ISEE- Lower Level

ISEE- Middle Level

Math

Mathematica

Middle School Math

Other

Phonics

Pre-Algebra

Reading

Special Education

SSAT Prep

SSAT- Elementary Level

SSAT- Middle Level

Study Skills

Study Skills and Organization

Technology and Computer Science

Test Prep

Q & A

What is your teaching philosophy?

I believe every student can learn and deserves a teacher with the skills and patience to make learning accessible. It is important that students feel success daily, both academically and socially.

What might you do in a typical first session with a student?

During a first session with a student, I would be interested in seeing what levels the student is at for the specified subject. I also would see what programs are used in the school so that I can familiarize myself with the programs and what is expected of the student in school.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

Building confidence during tutoring sessions and offering chances for students to solve problems with support is the first step to becoming an independent learner. It is only once a child feels confidence at being successful with assistance that the child can then learn to become independent in learning. Developing study skills also helps students become more independent in learning.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

Motivating a student starts with getting to know the student. Patience and positive reinforcement during lessons can help students to stay motivated. For younger students, a small sticker is sometimes enough motivation to keep them moving through multiple steps.

If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?

As a Special Education Teacher, I specialize in differentiating instruction. I change the way that I teach based on what a student needs. If a verbal explanation is not working, utilizing visuals or hands-on learning is necessary for some students. For instance, during multiplication instruction, if rote memorization is difficult, skip counting or drawing arrays can be other ways that a student can come to the correct answer.

What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?

While working with students, I think it is important to be confident, but soft spoken. Encouraging students to voice their concerns about learning, and making the student feel comfortable doing so, is important. Allowing the student to make small mistakes, and then guiding them to find the mistakes can lead to "light bulb" moments, where they can realize how to correct the mistakes.

How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?

Giving students more basic problems that they can be confident in and succeed with allows the student to not dread the subject. Once the basic problems are answered correctly, working through problems with the students and giving them small hints with a lot of encouragement can build the excitement and confidence to work in a subject that the student has struggled with.

What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?

Besides practicing multiple problems, having the student show the work, and asking the student to explain the process used to solve the problem, shows where they may have made a "guess." Students are encouraged to reword lessons when they are struggling to see if they are grasping the main point of the lesson.

How do you evaluate a student's needs?

I always like to start by asking the student questions about what they are doing well in at school. We then start talking about the subject they are struggling in, and I see if there is anything the student doesn't feel they can do. Many students will voice at least one thing that they feel they can't do, and it gives a good starting point. A multiple-step problem also can give an indication of any gaps in skills that need to be worked on. I am always actively watching students during lessons, and gauging understanding based on reactions, answers, and facial expressions. There are also diagnostic tests available if needed, but for generalized help, getting to know the student a little at a time works to build the relationship and gain the student's trust.

How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?

Finding things that students are good at is a great start to get students to feel confident. Once guided instruction and practice occurs, students should feel more confident with doing a problem independently. Pointing out small ways to improve on the subject can also make a student feel that there is knowledge being gained, and therefore, more confident.

How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?

For some students, I start with a full lesson, including background information for the lesson. This gives the student who is struggling a chance to succeed. For students who are not struggling, but learning new material, a mini-lesson with examples of how to solve a problem can be the best method to instruct the students. If students are utilizing the session for homework help, checking for understanding before doing problems is helpful.

What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?

I use various materials. Sometimes, the screen share is helpful to show a website or passage to assist a student. The practice problems on the site are helpful for multiple-choice questions. These are great for test preparation. I also have PDF worksheets that can be uploaded to work on with the students.

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