Hello, I've known that I would become a teacher since the age of 12. I have been retired for two years after a successful career from a large School District. I have also been tutoring for the past fifteen years. I continue to tutor because my passion is still teaching and helping students achieve academically.
I received my undergraduate degree in Education from Temple University and a Masters of Education in Reading Curriculum and Instruction from Grand Canyon University. My favorite subjects to teach are reading, math and writing skills. I am able to break down these subjects to their bare elements which allows for student success. In addition, as stated above, my passion to assist young people (or all ages) in gaining understanding is truly what drives me. My philosophy for teaching is to first of all, present a non-threatening environment where the student feels free to make attempts to achieve. I also feel that the student must be made aware of what is expected in their learning, their strengths and weaknesses. I will then give them the tools which will guide them in advancement of the subject matter. Two outside interests are reading and sewing.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: Temple University - Bachelor of Science, Education
Graduate Degree: Grand Canyon University - Master of Science, Reading
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
I truly believe that struggling students have the ability to succeed when placed in a non-threatening environment with an individual who is patient, yet still challenges their capabilities.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
I would introduce myself and tell a little about myself to the student. I would ask them to share their likes and dislikes about learning discuss and any hobbies that they enjoy. I would also assure them that I am there to help them and they need not be afraid to say "I don't know." Lastly, I would begin by giving them an informal assessment.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
I can help a student become an independent learner by giving them strategies that will help them be successful in their task.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
There are various ways to help a student stay motivated. I would praise the student for each accomplishment (no matter how small), show enthusiasm to the student, and demonstrate understandable ways and examples to help them "get it."
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
I would break down the skill to its barest essential and present the teaching of it step by step. There are times when the student can benefit from having the skill presented in a manner that is "outside of the box."
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
I first check to see if they are proficient in their decoding skill. If they are, I center my teaching around improvement in that area. In addition, I review other strategies for good readers.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
One of my most successful strategies when starting to work with a student is to simply to assure them that I am there to help them, and I encourage them to tell me if they do not understand.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
I first assure them that most people have one or more areas of learning that are difficult, and that it is nothing to be ashamed about. I go on to tell them that the shame will be if they don't try their best when someone is there to help them. I then teach them with much excitement and enthusiasm, giving praise at successful attempts. Last of all, I would create a chart or graph as a visual for them to see their growth in the particular subject.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
I check for student understanding by giving an assessment.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
One way to really build confidence is to start with skills that you know they are familiar with and with which they will be successful.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
This depends on the level of the student. I typically evaluate a student's needs by having them complete my own informal assessments. For very young students, I may have them recite the alphabet, say the vowel sounds, read word lists, do rote counting, and perform basic addition or subtraction. These are a few examples. I am able to evaluate needs based on how they perform on their initial assessment.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
I carefully observe the student and try to determine their learning style, and I gear my teaching towards that or those learning styles.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
I typically use (depending on the grade level) some or all of the following: paper and pencil, 3 by 5 cards, printed material from online, worksheets, computer (if available), base ten blocks, counters, mini whiteboard and leveled readers.