I have been an educator since 1991. I have experience teaching second, fifth, sixth and seventh grades. I hold a certification in Grades First through Eighth, Elementary Education and Fifth through Ninth Grades Social Studies, Math, and Communication Arts. I most enjoy teaching math and have taught Middle School math for the last five years.
I have also tutored Math through my district for the last five years. I use a variety of techniques and games to reach my students. I have also taught summer school through pre algebra and many of the kids need extra help in Math and reading.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: Concordia University-Chicago - Bachelors, Elementary education
I love anything Disney and enjoy tap dancing. I love animals and have a German Shepherd.
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
I would ask the student to tell me about themselves and about when they want to accomplish. I would also tell the student about myself and possibly find some things that we may have in common. I may give a pre-assessment of some type and ask if I may speak to their teacher so that I may be more effective in helping the student.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
I would encourage the student to give me the next steps of the problem and to explain and justify their answers. Oftentimes, a student does know how to do something or has a decent grasp of the subject, but does not feel confident that they can do the work. I often have students do practice problems on whiteboards and compare their answer with mine. The student can ask questions if they need to and find out where they are possibly off track.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
I would celebrate accomplishments through praise, stars, stickers, etc. I would keep track of the student's work and progress so that they can see how far they have come.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
I would try a different approach. I would break the problem down into smaller parts to possibly find out where the student is having difficulty. I may also possibly find an online video that may explain it in a different manner.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
First, I would encourage the student to read more. I would look for things that the student would like to read and work to provide that for the student. I would have them keep a journal to summarize what they have read. I would also have the student highlight parts of a passage to point out the main characters, ideas, and plot.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
I find that if the student feels that I care that they succeed, it helps greatly. Giving the student my time and attention without being distracted shows them that I care. Providing a variety of strategies to keep learning interesting and to engage students is a major component as well.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
I encourage the student that they can do this. I also will often have them say out loud, "this is easy" or "this is not so bad," "I can do this." If they are convinced that they cannot do something, then they are right. In my classroom, I have found that just giving the student a star for their performance on an assessment can be a huge deal. Taking note of their accomplishments can be huge.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
There a is a Kagan Strategy called Sage and Scribe where one student tells another student how to solve a problem step by step and the other student does nothing but write down the information. They then compare what was done. I can be the other student and that allows the student to explain what they have done. I also have students do problems on marker boards so that I can see what they are doing, and we can work together if they are not understanding.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
I will often begin at a stage where the student is comfortable so that they feel successful and then gradually increase the difficulty. Praising successes along the way is also effective. I will ask the student what they think they did well and clarify areas where they may be unsure to help me know what direction to head in next or what needs more attention.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
If I can, I will communicate with the classroom teacher. I will look at work that they have, if there is any. I will have them demonstrate how to do problems or read to me so that I can tell where they are. I may give a quick assessment to determine a student's needs.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
I begin where the student is. If they understand a concept, then I will move on to another one. If they need help with the basics first, then I will focus on that. If it is a student who has trouble sitting still, then I will look for activities or small breaks that let that student move. I may have them give me the steps and I write down the information before I have them do it. I try to get to know the student so that I know what works best for them.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
I often use dry erase boards, dice, letters, playing cards, and other manipulatives. I also use different types of books or reading materials.