I have a BA in Spanish and am currently in my final year at LIU Post, pursuing an MA in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages).
I have worked with Varsity since 2015 where I have tutored Spanish and ESL mostly to high school-adult students. I have also worked in various corporate settings where my knowledge of Spanish was utilized on a daily basis.
I strongly believe that anyone can learn a language. Sometimes learners need to be reminded of what they are capable of achieving. Sometimes they need some encouragement to spur them into action but they can accomplish their language goals and sometimes exceed even their own expectations.
Nelson Mandela said, "Education is the most important weapon which you can use to change the world". Yet education at times may seem tedious and just another thing to get through. It is my aim to make learning fun, creative and engaging. As such, the teaching philosophies that drive my preparation and teaching methods are:
* To inspire students to develop a lifelong love for learning. * To make learning creative & fun. * To connect learning with real-life situations. * To encourage curiosity and discovery. * To inspire students to see beyond what is immediately visible/known.
I love teaching languages because as a species, languages are our primary means of communicating ideas and emotions, as well as making connections with those around us.
Outside of teaching, I have a general interest in all things creative. I dabble in poetry and prose, photography, acting, and playing the acoustic guitar. For entertainment, I like to watch Broadway plays, live music, and tennis.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: College - Bachelors, Spanish
Graduate Degree: CUNY Hunter College - Current Grad Student, TESOL
Creative writing, photography, acting, playing acoustic guitar, seeing Broadway shows/live music and sporting events
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
* To develop a lifelong love for learning. * To make learning creative & fun. * To connect learning with real-life situations. * To encourage curiosity & discovery. * To inspire to see beyond what is immediately visible/known.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
Find out why s/he decided to get tutoring; where s/he believes s/he is weakest/strongest; how much improvement does s/he believe is possible; how will s/he plan to accomplish that improvement; what are her/his interests outside of school. Develop a game plan to get to the desired level of accomplishment. Request a sample of student work/perform an assessment of student work.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
I believe a student will be more willing to learn independently if s/he is working on something that holds her/his interest. My aim is to incorporate the student's interests into as many lessons as possible, thus fostering more engagement and more curiosity to continue learning after the session ends.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
I'll keep reminding the student of where we are headed as discussed in the first session. I'll also throw in some motivational stories and try to link her/his academic success with the ultimate dream the student wishes to achieve outside of school, and show how they are interrelated.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
I would break down any aspect that may seem complex into simpler chunks, and try instructing in a different way than was originally done.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
By breaking down the reading into smaller chunks based on the idea being conveyed, and using guiding questions to arrive at the answers.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
When the student engages with the activity and does most of the thinking and solving on their own, with a few guiding questions/comments along the way.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
By helping them to make a connection with the subject and real world situations, and how it fits/can fit into their individual lives.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
Depending on the lesson, I will check in occasionally to request a verbal explanation of a concept, as well as include mini-exercises that indicate whether the student is achieving mastery or not. Based on the results of the assessment(s), I may need to re-teach, or we can move on.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
The first thing to realize is that "Practice makes perfect." The more the student becomes familiar with a subject through practice, the better s/he will get. As s/he gets better, her/his confidence will improve. I would also try to connect the subject with real world situations and show how the subject could be important in the future.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
I'll evaluate a student's needs based on what the student indicates. I'll also use assessments to guide me to see a more holistic view of what is needed in order to move forward and succeed in a content area.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
If a student isn't getting a concept, I may need to re-teach in a different way and/or allow more time for practice.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
Depending on the level of the student and the subject/topic, I may include graphic organizers, opportunities to write and speak during a lesson, or any number of other interactive activities.