I am a graduate of San Francisco State University and CU Boulder. I received my Bachelor of Arts from San Francisco State University in Political Science with a minor in Criminal Justice. I received my Master's Degree from CU Boulder in Linguistics with a Specialization in TESOL. Since obtaining my M.A. degree, I secured a teaching position in an English Immersion program. Teaching all aspects of English is my passion. I enjoy facilitating students' learning using a variety of approaches to allow the student to learn through the techniques that work best for the individual. In my spare time, I enjoy watching movies, baking, and doing puzzles of all kinds ( both the jigsaw and crossword variety).
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: San Francisco State University - Bachelors, Political Science and Government
Graduate Degree: CU Boulder - Masters, Linguistics with a Specialization in TESOL
Movies, reading, baking, puzzles.
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
Language learning can be a daunting task. I see my role as a teacher of English to speakers of other languages as a facilitator of that learning. I want students to see language learning as a natural process. As the teacher, I provide the tools and guidance for that process. In using individual, paired, and group activities, students learn to become comfortable using English. When I plan a lesson, I like to keep the goal of that lesson in mind at all times, so that the tasks and activities are always working towards that objective. I believe that it is important that a language learning class is dynamic and that students are given the opportunity to physically move at appropriate times during the class. Language learning is a lifelong process. I want students to be able to use the tools that I provide them in class in their daily lives, so that they can progress in their language learning outside of the classroom. I want students to be the focus of the classroom, keeping my instruction to a minimum and the students' participation the main focus of the class.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
I would get to know the student a little bit and find out what her/his goals are for our sessions together. I would want to know what the student would like to have achieved by the end of our sessions. If applicable, I would do an assessment of the student's skills.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
I can help a student become an independent learner by giving the student methods to approach the learning process. My hope would be that, after our sessions together, the student could use these strategies in the future without the assistance of a tutor.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
I would help a student stay motivated by remaining focused on the student's goals for our sessions. I would check-in with the student periodically to see if she/he felt that the sessions were achieving the objectives we set.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, I would review the process for this skill or reframe the concept. I would assess what is giving the student difficulty and address that issue. For example, if the student wanted to learn how to create a 5 paragraph essay, but was struggling with where to put some of the elements, I would show the student how to form an outline to organize the essay and take the student through the process step-by-step.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
The techniques I use to be sure that a student understands the material are assessments about the concepts covered. In addition, I have the student explain the various points we have gone over in our sessions to ensure that the student's grasp of the skills or concepts are so good that he/she can explain them accurately.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
If a student feels a lack of confidence in a subject, I start by explaining that almost all of the subjects we learn in school are just that, learned, and that it is likely that the student is struggling in a particular topic due to the way it is being presented to him/her. In our sessions, I would be sure that the student experienced many victories to see that she/he can learn the skill or concept when given a teaching style and method that is more suited to the student (e.g., a visual learner might learn a concept better with pictures and graphics rather than written text).
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
I evaluate a student's needs through pre-assessments to see where the student is when we meet, and throughout the tutoring process. I am also cognizant of a student's mental or emotional needs, and while our focus is on academics, I make an effort to stay connected to the student to ensure that the student does not become discouraged.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
I adapt my tutoring to the student's needs by staying aware of what works best for the student and doing more of that type of teaching, as well as noticing the types of activities and strategies that are not effective for a student. Through this awareness, I am able to mold my tutoring and our sessions together to best fit the student.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
I use a variety of materials during a tutoring session. These include realia (e.g., articles from magazines or newspapers), technology (e.g., online videos or lectures), and traditional worksheets.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
I help students who are struggling with reading comprehension through various techniques, including pre-reading activities so the student can think about what he/she will be reading, helping the student identify when they are not comprehending what they are reading, and guiding the student through summarizing a piece for better comprehension (as well as to identify what parts the student is having difficulty comprehending).
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
When starting to work with a student, I have found the most successful strategies to be making a connection with the student and identifying the student's goals. In the beginning, it is useful to build trust with the student and ensure that the pace of the lessons are appropriate for them. I also think it is important to ask the student why the student feels he/she is struggling with this subject (if he/she is struggling) and why the student feels a tutor would be beneficial. Once I know these things, I can begin to create sessions that will meet the student's needs, not only for the content of the sessions, but also for the structure of the sessions and method of presenting the material.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
I would help a student become engaged with a subject in which they were struggling by finding a bridge between the subject and student. I would show them how improving in the subject will benefit them-possibly not just now, but also in future learning environments. Depending on the kind of struggle the student is having, they may think that they do not like the subject, but this might be due to the frustrations the student has experienced with the material. Once the student sees that it is possible for them to learn the material or skill, the subject may become more interesting.