Hi, my name is Alyssa. I have been teaching and tutoring for approximately 2 1/2 years. I specialize in Reading, Language Arts, Writing, and standardized test prep. I have three New Jersey teaching certifications.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: Montclair State University - Bachelors, English
Reading, cooking, working out
High School English
Study Skills and Organization
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
While a student's academic ability and effort that they put into schoolwork is based on how much they care about their own education, the type of teacher that they have can make or break their desire to succeed. Whenever I think back on my educational career, the only teachers that stand out are my best teachers and my worst teachers. I have always struggled in math, but I did well in my Algebra 2 class during my junior year in high school. Why was that? It was because I had a teacher who cared about the subject and the students. He always made sure that we understood the material and had an excellent rapport with everyone in my class. He was clearly passionate about working with high school students, and it showed in both his teaching style and personality. I think that was the only year that I ever got an "A" as my final grade in math. On the contrary, I nearly failed Algebra 3 my senior year. My Algebra 3 teacher went through the material too quickly and spent most of the class talking about things that were unrelated to math. I had to work with a tutor in order to pass for the year. Therefore, based on my own experiences, I believe that the teacher's role in education is to care about his/her students, challenge his/her students, and have a strong love of learning to pass along to students. The teacher should not be someone who gives all the answers to students; rather, the teacher should act as a guide and encourage students to find the answers themselves. True learning only occurs when a student is outside of his/her comfort zone. By challenging students, encouraging them to think critically, and providing them with hands-on activities, it allows true learning to happen. The student's role in education is to develop his/her own interests and potential as a well-rounded human being. While the teacher acts as a guide to this, the student will foster his/her intellectual curiosity and construct his/her own knowledge about a particular topic or subject. Next, the teacher and the students must work together to create a classroom environment that fosters acceptance, respect, kindness, and responsibility. If the teacher shows his/her students that she/he respects them, the students will respect the teacher back. A great teacher takes the time to get to know his/her students individually, and centers his/her curriculum to cater to the needs of the students. It is my opinion that a student cannot truly learn if they are not interested in anything they are supposed to be learning about. In my own classroom, I will take the time to get to know my students through class discussions and writing assignments, and I will design my curriculum and lessons around that. I want to learn about their culture, their family lives, and their likes and dislikes. I will always listen to my students if they have a comment or a concern about something, and will do my best to work with that student to fix the problem. I will also hold my students accountable for their own actions, as I greatly value people who understand personal responsibility. In my student teaching classroom, I always make sure to ask a student why I had to reprimand them, and ask them what they should do in order to change their behavior next time. I do this because I respect the students enough to help them understand why they were wrong, instead of simply reprimanding them and not attempting to fix the problem. I also want to teach them how to be responsible and mature individuals. Finally, I will not forget that teaching is learning and learning is teaching. While my students will learn from me, I will also learn from them. Teachers never stop learning and always should be willing to improve, whether they are a first year teacher fresh out of college or a veteran teacher who is about to retire. Teachers should learn from their students when a lesson doesn't work, and when a lesson goes wonderfully. Teachers should research new and innovative ways to encourage their students how to love learning and become independent. Lastly, teachers should show their students how they love learning by being willing to do so every day.