I am a graduate of the University of South Carolina, where I received a BA in Theatre, and an MFA in Performance. I am a former public school teacher, having spent 7 years teaching theatre, public speaking, and creative writing to middle and high school students in Columbia, South Carolina. I've also worked with students pursuing their GEDs, and taught Public Communications for several years at the University of South Carolina.
My favorite thing about teaching is helping students gain confidence, whether in their writing, test-taking, speaking, or performance. When students are assured they are capable, when their confidence is nurtured, there is growth by leaps and bounds.
I currently volunteer at my son's preschool, helping children learn to read, and broadening their appreciation of children's literature. I'm a blogger for Huffington Post Parents, and enjoy proofreading and editing my writer-husband's latest work. In my free time, I enjoy going to the theatre, building towers of blocks with my son, and trying to sneak vegetables into his lunches.
Undergraduate Degree: University of South Carolina-Columbia - Bachelors, Theatre
Graduate Degree: University of South Carolina-Columbia - Masters, Acting
Theatre, writing, reading, playing with my 3-year-old son
What is your teaching philosophy?
I believe everyone can set and achieve goals, and I understand we all learn in different ways. Through patience, optimism, and determination, all students have the potential to not only succeed, but excel. Boosting students' confidence is my favorite part of teaching.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
Get to know a little about the student's life outside of school first. What are their hobbies? What gets their attention? Then we will look at their routine at school, and identify the specific subject areas the student wishes to strengthen. And of course, we will have some fun along the way.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
Because students all learn differently, and since layering methods of instruction really cements the material for a learner, I work to impart knowledge in as may forms possible- we will learn by doing, reading, hearing, and discussing. We will learn to ask the best questions and will discover resources we can turn to to find the best answers.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
Understanding that education is the key to a successful, exciting, stable life is the best motivation for students. Also, having a mentor check in on their progress, asking how their learning is coming along, holds students accountable (I like to check in).
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
Find as many methods to impart that knowledge as possible. Find a novel, a song, a newspaper article, a piece of art, or ANYTHING that speaks to the specific way that a student learns and retains information. Inspiration comes from surprising places.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
Practice, practice, practice. Also, once a student is able to identify specific parts of a passage (introduction, topic sentence, supporting information, conclusion), it becomes easier for the reader to find and retain the information they need.