Helping people through education is what I am most passionate about. I have a particular interest in science education, receiving my Bachelors degree in Biology and my Masters of Arts in Teaching in Science Education, both from the University of South Florida. Over the past five years, I have tutored students in various settings, from the college level down to freshman in high school. I have also taught high school biology for the past two years. My variety of teaching and tutoring experiences, along with my background knowledge, helps me to effectively connect with young people to help them learn and succeed. I tutor the following subjects: biology, anatomy, physiology, ecology, environmental science, life sciences, and AP biology.
Undergraduate Degree: University of South Florida-Main Campus - Bachelors, Biology, General
Graduate Degree: University of South Florida-Main Campus - Masters, Science Education
Spending time with family and friends, being outside (especially near the water/beach), exercising, running, yoga, walking my dog, traveling, reading, and watching movies.
What is your teaching philosophy?
My belief is that all children deserve a learning environment that is safe, caring, and engaging. I believe that a teacher should always act as a guide, encouraging children to be creative, and supporting them while also challenging them to reach their true potential.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
Take the time to get to know the student. Ask about their experience in school, what they think they need help with most, their learning preferences, and any other information that will help our tutoring sessions to be successful.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
Throughout the tutoring sessions, I'd help teach the student learning/study strategies that will help them to be successful with more than just the particular content they are focusing on at the moment. I'd also help to boost the student's confidence and encourage them to try strategies on their own to practice and improve.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
After establishing a rapport of respect with that student, find out what truly motivates them. Encourage them and support them at all times by interacting in a positive manner. Never put the student down or become frustrated. Show them that they are truly able to succeed if they put in the time and effort necessary. Tell the student it is not about how "smart" they perceive themselves to be, but how much EFFORT they put into their work.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
Try different approaches, strategies, explanations, or examples until you find one that works for that particular student. Every student is a unique individual, and not all students will "get" every concept the first time (or first few times). True learning and understanding takes time, so explain that to the student. If the student becomes very frustrated with the concept, we would move on to something different and come back to it another time.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
Incorporate various strategies that would help that particular student. Help that student by breaking down sections of text, assessing their level of comprehension, and focusing on the meaning of the text.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
Verbal questioning- asking the student content-related questions and having them give their complete answer verbally. Also, having the student verbally explain what they know about a particular subject, to gauge their true understanding.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
Find a different way to present the material by incorporating the student's own interests and/or personality. I would use visuals and examples to engage the student.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
Verbal recall- have the student explain the content material to me. Explaining something using words shows truer understanding than simply completing a written response or practice questions. I could also have them answer questions verbally and supplement with some written responses.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
By incorporating lots of practice and repetition- explicitly showing the student that they are mastering the subject. Using a graphic or written representation showing them their improvement in the subject. I would also give the student very specific praise to boost their confidence in the subject.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
By giving the student some version of a pre-assessment, either written or verbal, to better understand their learning preferences and needs. By communicating with the student, I would be able to evaluate what they need. I would simply ask the student what they think they need. If they are not quite sure, I would use other strategies throughout sessions to evaluate what is needed.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
Through altering my teaching and communication style, based on what that particular student may need. For example, if a student prefers visuals/illustrations, I would incorporate these to increase their understanding. If a student needs more help with reading comprehension, I would build reading practice into the tutoring sessions.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
Practice questions, drawings, diagrams, graphs, whiteboards and markers, highlighters, and various science models. Also, textbooks and various other books/magazines/articles.