I graduated from The University of Southern Maine with a B/A in English in 2009. While I was doing my English studies I was also earning my teaching certification through their Teachers for Elementary and Middle School Program. Upon receiving my certification I was hired to work with 6th, 7th, and 8th graders under Title 1 which supports low income school districts in Math and English. This work allowed me to actively be engaged in the students daily school life and work one-on-one with them inside the classroom. I was also allowed to collaborate with the teachers to modify lessons and materials for individual students. It was during this work that I realized my niche for teaching students in small groups or as individuals. My greatest asset in teaching is being able to connect with all students on a personal level and using that to advance their learning in education.
Since my work under Title 1 I have returned to school and earned my Masters in Education, my certification in Secondary English, and secured a job in a resource room at Scarborough High School (a top 10 high school in the state of Maine).This involves working with students in all subject areas in all four grade levels. I find the work to be highly rewarding and I enjoy coming into my classroom everyday to experience a new and challenging behavior.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: University of Southern Maine - Bachelors, English
Graduate Degree: University of Southern Maine - Masters, Teaching and Learning
Cooking, Football, Volunteering, working with seniors. Mostly, hanging with my daughter!
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
I believe all students can learn. The key to teaching is discovering the best way each student learns, and modifying the lessons to match their style.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
I would like to get to know that student. I want to find out what areas are presenting the most difficulty so those can be addressed without reteaching an already mastered skill.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
By connecting the material to the learner's life and the outside world. The student needs to be engaged in the learning in order to want to go beyond the required material.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
Many different ways. get the student involved, rewards, positive reinforcement, personal connections, and staying creative in the lessons.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
First, I want to evaluate my lesson. The student may have gotten lost during the process. Next, I want to pinpoint where the student has lost track of the lesson, then modify. Finally, I will ask the student what they need from me to be able to learn the skill or concept.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
Depending on the student's level of reading, I may take a walk through a picture book and ask questions about what they see. Graphic organizers or story maps work well for older students. Reading passages together and talking about it as we go engages them in the story. Doing an author study before reading a text will also help the reader understand the writing. Also, just allowing a student to read and having them feel relaxed with no pressure on pronunciation and definition really enforces comprehension, especially when they are reading something that interest them.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
Personnel connection. Providing a safe environment and a trusting adult so a student feels safe to take risks. Also, I use a lot of humor.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
I think giving students choice is key to engaging them in the learning. If they can learn materials through an outlet that interests them, then they will take charge of the learning and also self-monitor.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
I would use formative assessments: Daily check-ins, written examples, conversations, journals, practice work, and projects.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
You set attainable goals that all students can master. You don't move on until everyone has mastered the goal, and you celebrate milestones along the way.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
Observations are a great way to evaluate a student's needs. Also using a KWL before a lesson, then frequent check-ins throughout the lesson.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
By learning about the student and modifying the way that I teach.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
Visual, hands-on, and interactive materials.