My goal is to help students acquire and better retain information that will help improve their skills in reading and writing. By reviewing and applying information in contexts that will most benefit them, I help students understand their potential in applying reading and writing skills for academic, business, and personal endeavors.
I received my Bachelor of Arts degree in English Language and Literature in May 2013, and I am aspiring to receive my Master of Arts in English in December 2015. Both degrees come from Stephen F. Austin state University. I am proficient in tutoring essay writing for college and reading comprehension as I do both frequently within and without the academic sphere. My concentration has mainly focused on classic and contemporary children's literature, including fairy tales, as well as various schools of literary theory and criticism.
My teaching philosophy has always been student-centered, which includes structuring the lesson around what the student knows and building understanding from fundamental lessons. It is my firm belief that no lesson, no matter how detailed, will help the student if the student does not have understanding of the groundwork on which to understand the material. As a tutor, it is my job to aid the student in the material he or she is given by the instructor and I will defer to the instructor's demands so the student may successfully pass their respective courses.
Undergraduate Degree: Stephen F Austin State University - Bachelors, English Language and Literature
Graduate Degree: Stephen F Austin State University - Current Grad Student, English Language and Literature
reading, writing, literary criticism
What is your teaching philosophy?
My teaching philosophy is to help students unlock an awareness of what they already know and build a foundation from which they can learn new and more detailed information. It is my firm belief that disseminating information to students without giving them context or any connection back to what they have previously learned will be of no use to the student. It is my responsibility as a tutor to guide the student according to their needs and to defer to the instructor's demands so the student may successfully pass their course.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
I use first sessions as an opportunity to establish a rapport with the client and get an understanding of their strengths and their most devoted topics of discussion. I also find out what areas of understanding they need to improve upon and examine what ways I can help motivate them. Only then, would we start to review fundamental learning blocks needed according to the course.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
As a guide, it is my duty to help students find out answers for themselves. Oftentimes, writing comes with exploring thought experiments and forming one's own educated opinion through synthesizing research and past experiences. For students to gain any sense of independence, they must first experience independence. The best way that I can provide such experiences is through simulation and guidance. Simulation via worksheets and thought prompts that connect to the student are more likely to help them improve critical thinking skills and find their own answers.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
Motivation tactics must connect to the student on a personal level of interest. Once I understand the student's hobbies and most dedicated subjects, I can ask questions about their thoughts and opinions. Such opinions will help articulate their thoughts, and as a result, their writing will improve.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
Should students begin to struggle. I make it my responsibility to go back to a previous point where the student had a firm grasp on the subject. From there, I would take baby steps to help pinpoint where the student gets lost, and rebuild information in a way they understand through either visual, auditory or kinetic learning.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
If a student struggles with vocabulary, I help them by introducing synonyms they may better understand. I can also help by breaking down the word into its root forms and show the student similar words with the same root. If their struggle is with overall comprehension, I have them identify the point where they lost track of the passage and guide them through monitoring and generating questions for them.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
As a visual learner, I find working with illustration and imagery to work best with students. I often mix visual learning with kinetic learning, and have the student participate in games to help them improve their learning skills; not just memorization, but also higher functioning skills like analysis and evaluation.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
Again, I attempt to connect the study material back to the hobbies and interests to which the student devotes the most time. Both reading and writing are not only subjects within themselves, but they also encompass other subjects, which makes reading and writing so easily accessible. Many students, though, will need short breaks. To help keep them engaged, I often turn to visual games related to the material.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
Often I give students what I call "the false light bulb" method. I make attempts to ask deliberately wrong questions about that day's material so they will correct me with the right information, and we review with similar strategies and frame the lesson around what they have learned for that day.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
Through repetition and review, the student can get a better handle of the subject. This doubly so if they see the connections between the subject and the interests that they are passionate about. Learning linguistic terms about the student's interests will help them learn about how to articulate their thoughts about their passions.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
On an individual level, I gauge the student's progress through the efficiency with which they can understand and analyze passages they have encountered before. A great deal of the evaluation comes from comparing the areas of improvement between every 3 sessions or so.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
As a guide, I give the student the necessary information to accomplish tasks they can apply to their schoolwork based on how the student operates. I base my lessons around what the student already knows, and use different sensory techniques that appeal to them effectively. I make it my responsibility to arrange sessions around the student's mental, physical, and emotional capacities.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
Physical materials often can range from flashcards to passages from essays, and from classic and contemporary fiction. I almost always have students bring homework with them, and any texts they need to accomplish the work. Paper and pens are mandatory for my work, and I often bring my own prepared notes for passage analysis and essay prompts.