Since high school I have known that I wanted to be a teacher. I have always enjoyed school and saw a value in education because of the investments and attitudes of my former teachers. I want to continue what those teachers have instilled in me and would love to see future generations also gain an appreciation for education. I am particularly passionate about languages and culture and love to share those passions with others.
I have been teaching Spanish for 5 years at the middle and high school levels. I have also taught ESL and English as a Foreign Language primarily to elementary school students. I have also taught adult English as a Foreign Language classes and tutored individual high school students and adults in English conversation.
I completed my undergrad in Spanish and Education at Eastern University in St. David's, PA and am currently working on my thesis in order to finish my masters in Spanish Language and Culture from the Universidad de Salamanca.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: Eastern University - Bachelor in Arts, Spanish
Graduate Degree: Universidad de Salamanca - Master of Arts, Spanish Language and Culture
running, yoga, traveling, reading
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
I believe that all children are valuable and deserving of an education, and that none should fall through the cracks. As a teacher I have reasonably high expectations for my students, constantly reminding them that they are capable of achieving whatever they desire. I do not let any information about their previous academics or behavioral issues influence my expectations of them. I also realize that all students are different and, therefore, I alter my teaching style or any plans to better meet the needs of my students. I strive to make my class interactive, fun and hands-on, helping to maintain the interest and attention of my students while allowing them to express creativity, plus providing plenty of opportunities for them to produce the target language.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
I think it would first be important for the student to know a little bit about who I am and to tell me about what interests them. I want to be able to establish trust from the beginning, and also be able to start thinking about specific ways to motivate the particular student based upon their interests and personality.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
I would first have to understand a little more about where the confusion lies, and would seek additional ways to provide practice opportunities. With a language, it often takes more practice- the more a student hears and uses a word, the easier it is to stick with them, which is the same for grammatical points as well.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
I like to find out what my students are interested in: sports, music, art, fashion, etc., and use that to start conversation in the target language.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
With a language, I think it comes through conversation and discussion- is the student able to understand a spoken question and answer it themselves? Is he/she able to read a given segment and then discuss or write about it (in English or Spanish)? It would be important to look for understanding in all four areas of reading, writing, listening and speaking.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
Confidence grows with a lot of encouragement and by providing opportunities for success. I also like to provide stories about myself or my friends that have made language or culture blunders and learned from them, so that the student is reminded that mistakes are ok to make, because that's how we all learn.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
All students have strengths, and I believe it's important to use their strengths to help them in their weaknesses.