I currently work at a PreK-8th grade school in inner NE Portland. I taught 5th grade my first seven years here, 1st grade for half a year and then was given the privilege to take on the role of Behavior Coach during the last half of teaching 1st grade. I am still in this position. In this position I work with all students, staff and many families to cultivate a positive community within the school. Although I am not currently teaching, I take every opportunity I can get to interact with students academically. I am often asked to fill in for teachers instead of using a guest teacher. I love these opportunities.
As a general education teacher I have taught all subjects at the K-5 level but math is my favorite. I enjoy taking a subject that many students struggle with and making it fun and understandable instead of difficult. I like seeing the joy in students' faces when they have solved a problem or grasped a new concept. Although math is my favorite subject I enjoy and am well versed in all other subjects as well.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: Portland State University - Bachelors, Liberal Arts
Graduate Degree: Portland State University - Masters, Education
sports, reading, cooking, traveling
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
I believe that all students can be successful. I believe in meeting students where they are and helping them get to where they need to be or beyond.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
I would first take some time to get to know the student socially. I would find out some of their favorite things and some of their least favorite things. Then I would do the same on an academic level. I would ask them how they feel about school and education, and find out how they learn best. I would also share some of my favorite things with the student so they could get to know me a little better as well. Next, I would have the student complete a pre-assessment on whatever skills we would be focusing on during our tutoring time.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
I help students acquire the skills they need to be successful by first modeling skills, then guiding them, and then allowing them to work independently. This process takes a different amount of time for each student, so I always go at the student's pace while encouraging them to push themselves.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
I applaud their achievements, whether great or small. I also provide them with opportunities to be successful so they learn to believe in themselves. I always give encouraging words and allow them to take as much time as they need to acquire a skill.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
I would never give up. I would give the student a break from the difficult task and would do something to take their mind off of it. I would then start from the beginning and reteach the skill, and have the student practice and practice until they reach success.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
I have students use small passages of reading instead of long stories. I first have the student read the passage all the way through. Then the student reads it again, and this time I ask questions as they are reading. After each paragraph, I have the student summarize what was read.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
I first find out the student's learning style so I know how to go about helping them. Then I have students show me how they would do the work. This way I can see what they are missing, and can gain a better understanding of how to support them.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
I would try to relate the subject to something they are interested in.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
I would ask questions, give the students practice work, have the student explain in pictures or words the skill they are learning, and have them teach me the skill as if I were a student younger than them.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
I give students a ton of praise, encouragement, and lots of practice. If it is a subject a student is struggling in, I give them the opportunity to be successful by giving them work in the same subject that is slightly below their level so they master it and feel confident before we tackle the more difficult work.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
I use pre-assessments and report cards from their school if possible, so I know what skills their teacher believes they are lacking or struggling with.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
I meet the student where they are academically, and by learning their learning style, I can support them in ways they will appreciate and will find most useful.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
Paper, pencil, books, worksheets, and an iPad or laptop.