Watching a student achieve their goals and flying past them to achieve even more is one of the privileges of being a tutor. I have over 15 years of experience as a teacher enabling students to have those feelings of pride and success. I believe that every pupil matters and I plan accordingly for every individual student. I am able to teach to any exam criteria or just to improve skills for work or personal development.
I specialize in all aspects of English, both written and oral. I believe that learning should be an enjoyable experience. This is true whether you are 10 years old right up to being an adult.
Undergraduate Degree: Manchester Metropolitan University, Crewe and Alsager faculty, UK - Bachelors, Creative Arts
10th Grade Reading
10th Grade Writing
11th Grade Reading
11th Grade Writing
12th Grade Reading
12th Grade Writing
1st Grade Reading
1st Grade Writing
Elementary School Reading
Elementary School Writing
High School English
High School Writing
IB Language A: Language and Literature
IB Language A: Language and Literature SL
IB Theatre HL
IB Theatre SL
Introduction to Poetry
Study Skills and Organization
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
In the very first session I would clarify the end target, so that we know what we want to achieve. I would then calculate the current level of the student, so that I can structure further lessons suitably enabling success. I would clarify the learning style that best suits the individual student through enjoyable exercises. It is important to end every session with some feeling of pride and success for the student. Then after the session, plan individually for the next sessions.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
A student becoming an independent learner is crucial. This would be achieved by stages. Initially I would explain strategies to the student, then develop these together, and then, as the student becomes more confident, develop their independence.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
If a student is not motivated, learning slows down and can even halt. Motivation is about seeing success and the feeling that they can achieve. As the lessons are individually planned for the learning style of the students, this aids motivation. Motivation can take many forms through praise, enjoyable application of the education process and personal pride for the student. At the end of every session, I always highlight the positive.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
If a student struggles with a concept, it is my job to adapt my teaching that it becomes accessible. This could be through breaking the skill or concept down to more accessible parts, or approaching it from a different angle. It is important to not let the student feel down if they do not grasp something the first time, but to motivate them to try again.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
If a student struggles with comprehension, I initially work to analyze what part of comprehension is the struggle. It could be a lack of vocabulary, so then I would need to implement a strategy to develop more vocabulary. It could be that comprehension relies on inference, and I would then need, through exercises, to develop these skills. The key is working together to target what needs support and develop an Individual Educational Action Plan.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
When starting out, the best strategies are to pick a suitable text and let the student attack the text. This lets me have a starting point. I often use a reading age exercise to determine the current reading age, a vocabulary exercise, and a comprehension exercise.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
The key to getting a student engaged is to make a lesson enjoyable. It is very common for a student to start with a tutor because they have been struggling, and in worst cases believe they cannot do it and are stupid. That is of course wrong, and a terrible feeling to have. I firstly need to rebuild the academic confidence. This can be done by starting again and rebuilding the skills in small blocks, so that achievement can be built on. This has to be adapted to their preferred learning style. Once achievement happens, we build piece by piece, mapping achievement, so they stay motivated until we achieve the final goal.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
To ensure learning has happened, I would use small plenaries during the session, often oral. If we are working on written work, it may be a series of exercises. At the end of each session, the student has to write on their diary sheet what they have done to take home so they can explain at home. I record what they have done and what they have learned. Again, I give a copy to take home so they have they can check if both reports are the same. Any written work is marked by me with targets for the next session.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
Motivation is the key to success. If they get something wrong, that is fine on the journey to success. I explain that we learn by our mistakes. It is how we react to them that makes us better. I always finish a lesson on a positive, and give that feedback to the parents or caregivers. Sometimes a simple sticker is a powerful motivational tool. I ensure that the student takes ownership for their learning and develops pride in their work.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
Evaluation of a student's needs depends on their individual educational action plan. I discuss their strengths and weakness through oral and written strategies. This could be through a medical condition such as dyspraxia, to a struggle with learning vocabulary. I then plan accessible work accordingly, enabling them to achieve.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
Different students respond to different learning styles. For example, some are kinesthetic learners who like to use their hands and learn through doing, and struggle being talked to for too long. So I would plan sessions accordingly. Some students panic when seeing large chunks of text to read, so I show them how to read in smaller paragraphs, covering up the rest of the text, and this works for them. It really depends on analyzing the individual needs of the student and my ability to recognize and plan for this.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
During a session, I typically use a computer for the majority of the work. Unless of course I am teaching reading a book, handwriting or speaking. I have my own handouts, which I personalize for each student, who I also give an electronic copy to.
What is your teaching philosophy?
My philosophy is that learning must be engaging and fun. Every student is different and will learn in different ways. My job is to develop that learning and spark a learning journey that will last into adulthood. It is my view that no children must be left behind, and it is my duty to use different ways to help them.