I hold a Bachelor of Science Degree in Education for Elementary/Middle & Adaptive Education. I also hold a Master of Science Degree in Education with Reading Teacher/Specialist Certification. More recently I achieved National Board Certification in Early/Middle Level Literacy.
I have been teaching 22 years and have worked with students in Kindergarten through Sixth Grade. I teach all subject areas and am involved with our Project Lead The Way (PLTW) Science Curriculum which is engineering based on STEM practices.
I am an avid reader and like reading instruction. My favorite books are the "Harry Potter" and "Percy Jackson" Series. Although, my favorite book is "My Side of the Mountain" written by Jean Craighead George. I also enjoy teaching anything with technology whether it be an iPad, Chromebook, or Windows device.
In my spare time, I enjoy spending time with my family playing card or board games, as well as video games. My favorites are sports-based, such as Madden Football, as well as many Wii Games. I also enjoy spending time outdoors fishing, hunting, biking, or playing yard games.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: U.W. La Crosse - Bachelors, Elementary/Middle Level Education
Graduate Degree: U.W. La Crosse - Masters, Reading Teacher/Specialist
I enjoy playing board games, video games, and watching movies with my family. I also enjoy hunting and fishing. I also like to read when I find time...I am a Harry Potter fan!
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
As stated in my personal statement, I believe that all students can learn. We merely need to find the best way for a student to learn based upon both their strengths and weaknesses. In addition, however, we must also help students develop the skills and desire to teach themselves to be self sufficient.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
Introduce myself and share information about myself such as interests, hobbies, and my family. I would also ask the same from the student. I would also give some basic assessments and/or questions to gauge where the student is in regards to his or her learning style.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
First and foremost, show the student that it is all right to make a mistake or get an answer wrong. I would also show him/her how to find answers and become confident in taking chances.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
Setting goals that allow a student to take ownership of his or her learning is paramount to motivating a student.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
If a student is having difficulty with a concept, I will keep trying to find a method or idea that will help the student become successful.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
I would find out what part of comprehension the student is struggling with (i.e. - within the text, beyond the text, or about the text). It may also be helpful to have a student read a passage and then have a conversation or get the student to write about what he/she just read.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
Gaining the trust of a student is a first step. The student needs to trust an adult in order to become willing to put forth a best effort. In addition, open dialogue with both the student and parent needs to take place. This will help communicate any issues and/or progress.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
Find something with the subject that is motivating and enjoyable to the student. If a student is interested in a subject, he or she will take ownership of the struggle and try to do better.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
Pre-Testing, Post-Testing, and Exit Slips are great ways to find out what a student knows in regard to the subject material. This also requires the student to communicate what he/she knows and understands through writing an answer on the Exit Slip.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
Practice, Practice, and Practice! Start out with easy questions and or concepts, and then increase the difficulty as the student becomes successful.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
As mentioned earlier...Pre-Test, Post-Test, Exit Slips. But, I would also ask the student what he/she needs help with.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
Once I get to know a student's strengths, weaknesses, personality, and learning style, I adapt how content and delivery can be adapted.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
This would depend on the content area. I try to use as much technology as possible because it gives instant feedback. But, I will use varied materials if needed.