I received a Bachelors of Science in Biology with a Pre-Med focus at Syracuse University. Upon graduating, I joined Teach For America and I have been teaching for four years. In my first two years I attained a Masters in Science in Special Education from Fordham University.
I teach in District 79, an amorphous district, that caters to students who have struggled in a traditional academic setting. During this time I have come to believe that every student is unique and requires differentiated learning styles and/or resources that will help him or her succeed.
I am fortunate enough that I teach science specifically. I teach Biology (Living Environment), Earth Science, Health, and the science component of GED (HSE). I love science and I believe that the right tutor will be able to explain the depth and usefulness of science in a fun and engaging way.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: Syracuse University - Bachelors, Biology, General
Graduate Degree: Fordham University - Masters, Special Education Gen. 7-12
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
"Learn everything you can, anytime you can, from anyone you can; there will be a time you will be grateful you did." -Sarah Caldwell, American opera conductor
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
I would ensure the student that tutoring is a time for them to ask a lot of questions and make mistakes. It is better to catch mistakes now than later, when it may count.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
I would help the student to learn effective studying and test-taking skills in a gradual release style that will allow them to make their own reviews, catch mistakes, and determine how to get the best answer using resources.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
I would scaffold the skill or concept into smaller steps, so that the student can have mini-victories and feel confident when the steps are put together.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
I love using analogies, graphic organizers, and dictionaries with students struggling with reading comprehension. I believe that text shouldn't be read in one setting, but it should be broken into smaller parts to comprehend.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
1. Determine the learning style of the student- auditory, visual, kinesthetic, intrinsic motivator, extrinsic motivator, requires minimal breaks, etc. 2. Make tutoring a safe place where students feel comfortable to ask as many questions as they like. 3. Instill mental toughness by encouraging students that working hard now will benefit them later.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
1. I would relate the subject to something the student is interested in, and show how important the subject is. 3. I would share an experience where I struggled with a particular subject, and what I did to get better.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
1. Check For Understanding Questions - What, Why, How, etc. 2. Ask student to create their own questions. 3. Have student apply the skill/concept to a different scenario. 4. Have the student explain skill/concept to me as if they are explaining it to their grandma/grandpa. If you can't explain a skill/concept simply, you don't know it.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
I would build a student's confidence in a subject by creating small goals that are feasible for the student to excel. Small victories lead to increased confidence.