I am a retired teacher who still loves to teach. I especially like helping students improve their reading and writing ability. I am a licensed reading teacher and a published writer. I have taught in public schools and have taught young men and women who were high risk students in residential treatment centers. I really think that everyone should have a chance at becoming the reader they want to be.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: Mt. Mary University - Milwaukee - Bachelors, Education
antiques, live theatre, my husband and I are ushers at Theatre On Main in Oconomowoc, writing, being an animal activist, and hiking.
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
Anyone can learn. Some of us learn visually; some by auditory means, and some kinesthetically (seeing someone do it, then using our hands to replicate). "Different is okay."
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
Spend 15 minutes to tell them about me and ask questions about them - What name do they prefer to be called by? I prefer Ms. Speerles, etc.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
Ask them why they think it is important for them and all of us to be an independent learners. Will Mom, Dad, and instructors always be available for us, especially when we have a job?
How would you help a student stay motivated?
I use a lot of praise and use it often. Also, I show them past papers they have done compared to now. "Look how much you've grown. Well done!"
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
Tell them everyone gets stuck in learning. Review the concept with them again, and then ask them where they are stuck. I would try a different way of teaching that concept.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
I tell them while they are reading to picture on a screen in their head what is happening (like on TV). Then, pretend there is a commercial. Stop reading, and tell yourself or your instructor what you just read. When the commercial is over, continue with the same process.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
Pulling ten vocabulary words out of their reading, explaining the meanings very simply, having them write the word and meaning down. At the next session, we'd take turns acting the words out, and then they would choose eight of the ten words to write a story.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
I am only tutoring reading, speaking, and writing. Thus, I would role model those three areas for them.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
Simple quiz, either orally or a fill in the blank with one essay written quiz.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
Again, show them past examples of their work and enthusiastically praise them for the growth they have shown.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
In whatever area they are requesting tutoring with, I need to have them demonstrate their knowledge for me. After many, many years of teaching, I can tell what they need help with. I could also give them a test for reading.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
That is what is so great about tutoring one on one. You can see from that student's personality and by talking to them how they best learn. Are they a visual learner, auditory learner, or do they learn best kinesthetically?
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
I use some of my own teacher-made tools as well as trade books and worksheets.