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I love learning and all the wonders that accompany it. Through my years of experience, I have developed strategies to help students improve in areas of concern in order to attain their academic goals. My wish is for all of my students to love learning, too. Whether a student wants to prepare for the ACT, improve reading comprehension, or develop successful test taking strategies, I can help him or her develop the tools necessary for success.

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Barbara’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: University of Memphis - Bachelors, English

Graduate Degree: University of Memphis - Masters, Curriculum and Instruction


I enjoy reading, cooking, and hanging out with all the generations of my big family.

Q & A

What is your teaching philosophy?

I am an educator who believes in the power of reading and writing. Not only are these skills essential to function in our day to day world but they also open a world of possibility. I believe all students can learn when given the right intellectual tools, and I enjoy the challenge of finding the right tool to unlock the potential in each student.

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

I like to give the student a simple assignment, so I might observe his or her learning style. Also, I talk with the student to determine his or her academic goals. I use the information from the first session to develop an individualized plan for each student.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

Students need the right tools to improve academic performance and to gain the confidence needed to become an independent learner. I can teach them the tools to gain this confidence.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

In order to stay motivated, students need positive feedback to reinforce areas of improvement, and they need realistic goals that do not overwhelm them.

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

Breaking down difficult concepts into more manageable parts is a strategy that helps students who struggle with a specific concept.

How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?

Students who struggle with reading comprehension need to learn active reading strategies. I tell my students if they are just staring at a page, then the brain is not activated; therefore, they are reading like a zombie. No zombie reading with my students!

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

Each student is different and must be treated as an individual. After an initial assessment, I would make each student a part of our team for his or her success. Together, we would make a plan that includes areas of concern, plans to address concerns, academic goals, and measures of success.

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

In order to increase student engagement, I would create lessons that appeal to his or her favorite learning style. For example, tactile learners will show more improvement in grammar if I use sentence strips and pipe cleaners to identify errors in subject/verb agreement.

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

During instruction, I would check for understanding by assigning a small portion of a problem after each segment of the lesson. I would reteach any area of confusion. At the end of the lesson, I would assign a complete guided practice problem, so I could clarify areas of difficulty while the student worked on the problem. After I felt confident the student grasped the concept, I would assign independent practice. After the student completed the independent practice, I would check for errors and reteach any areas of confusion.

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

A student needs success in order to develop confidence. Therefore, I start with mini-skills so that a student might find some measure of success. Also, I would make academic goals that are specific and attainable.

How do you evaluate a student's needs?

I observe a student's approach to a problem or reading passage. Then, I observe his or her actions or inactions while working a problem. Next, I review a student's work to determine specific areas of need. However, I also talk with the student to get his or her opinion on the areas of need.

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

Each student is an individual, and I develop a plan that is designed to meet that student's specific needs.

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

In order to actively engage students, I use hands-on materials and technology. Our brains respond to color, texture, sound, and many other stimuli. I employ teaching tools that appeal to all types of learners.

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