Passion! It's what motivates all of us to accomplish goals that seem bigger than ourselves. I have a passion for teaching new learners. I believe all students have the ability to learn; it may, however, be a different style for each one. Some need to go at a slower pace until they are comfortable with the subject matter. Some simply need to believe in their own potential. I have had many years of experience working with learners of all ages and backgrounds. I have a lot of patience and know how to use creative methods to inspire students, in order to demonstrate how the individual student's own strengths can be capitalized upon and their weaknesses eventually overcome. Recently, I spent 9 years in China and 1 year in Ecuador teaching and tutoring many students in English. I look for students who are willing to try and put forth the effort necessary to succeed. I hope that together we can unwrap the gift of knowledge waiting to be discovered.
What is your teaching philosophy?
Every learner has the capacity to learn. Each individual has different strengths and weaknesses. I believe learning takes place best when the strengths are capitalized upon and used to improve the areas of weakness. This may be done at a separate pace for all learners.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
Get to know the individual by asking open-ended questions. Find out exactly what they are hoping to accomplish through the tutoring session.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
Encourage them to know that they have the power to succeed within themselves.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
Make sure the student always knows what is expected of him or her and what steps they need to follow in order to stay successful. I also would remind the student that they have abilities that remain untapped and that I believe they can discover them and utilize them.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
Go over the basics of the concept, reminding them that there is no shame in struggling with difficult concepts. What appears as failure to some is only a necessary step in reaching the final goal.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
Ask them to slow down. It is necessary to relax in order to retain knowledge when reading. I would show them how to pay attention to keywords and ideas in a reading passage.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
Letting the student know I am on his or her side. I do not judge them by their ability to learn. It is more important to try at the beginning than it is to succeed. Success will usually come later after hard work.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
Find a way to link it to their own interests or hobbies. If that is not possible, I would try to help them realize that not all subject matter seems to be relevant when you are young, but often comes in handy later in life when you least expect it. I would also remind them that it is not always the subject matter at hand that will assist them later in life, but the process of "learning how to learn" will always be beneficial.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
Use question and answer sessions. Use fun exercises to reinforce the lesson. Initiate discussion with the subject matter of the lesson. Use creative activities.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
Always be sure to let them know when they get something correct and praise them for it. Never belittle their sincere efforts.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
Pretesting Asking open ended questions.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
By discovering what their strengths and weaknesses are then using this knowledge as a basis for developing a curriculum tailored to their specific learning style and pace, being careful not to make the student feel inferior in any way.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
Relevant printouts. Supplemental material geared to the subject matter. Online games.