I currently have a Masters of Science of Education in Counseling from Alfred University, NY and Advanced Certificates in Grief Counseling and Play Therapy. I obtained my Bachelor's Degree in Spanish and Secondary Education from Queens College. I have taught Spanish for about 9 years and tutored Spanish privately on and off for about 5 years.
I love tutoring Spanish. I know the struggles and challenges that students face when trying to learn another language. I make learning Spanish fun and as easy but always relating new vocabulary and content to everyday life for each learner. I believe that all students have the capacity to learn and do well in a foreign language and that educators should take the time to know their students so that lessons can be tailored to meet their specific and individual needs. All students have different learning styles and I do my best to differentiate my teaching style to accommodate the students that I teach.
Aside from teaching/tutoring I love reading, music, writing songs and travelling and exploring different places.
I look forward to working with students of all ages and skill levels and to make this learning experience as stress free and comfortable as possible. :)
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
I believe that every student has the potential to learn, and each educator should find different strategies to cater to the diverse learning styles of each and every student so that they can reach their highest potential.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
I would introduce myself to the student so that they know about me as a tutor, and allow them to introduce themselves and tell me a bit of what their interests are, so that I can learn about them to better be able to tailor my lessons to meet their specific needs.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
I will help by scaffolding my lessons in a way that modelling allows students to gain the skills to practice on their own, and to be able to track their own progress from where they started to where they are at each growth point.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
Positive reinforcement, encouragement and positive regard goes a long way in helping students to stay motivated. I will ensure that each student feels safe and understands that mistakes are a part of growth, and that they should feel comfortable to try, even when they are uncertain.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
I would explain the skill or concept in different ways, offering various examples until the student can make a connection with that concept. I would compare it with other skills that the child has already mastered to help them gain understanding of that new concept.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
I would model what close reading is and help students by starting small. I would help the student to practice creating their own questions from something they have read, and help them using smaller paragraphs, so that they do not feel overwhelmed by the length of a comprehension passage. In that way, they will feel more confident about answering questions and reading on a whole.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
Learning about students is a very successful strategy. When introducing new vocabulary and concepts, it is wise to have students make connections with things that they already know, or vocabulary that they use normally in their everyday lives. Building on prior knowledge and modelling helps to keep students focused and feel more confident about learning new material.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
Enthusiasm is contagious. Students feed off the teacher's excitement for the subject matter, especially when they can see how it is related to their real life and that there is no pressure to always get everything right the first time.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
Practicing with students is great, but also allowing students personal space and time to think is essential. Students need time to work independently while the teacher facilitates the lesson and makes themself present to answer any clarification questions the student might have.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
Students' confidence will be built by letting them know that they are making progress. Positive reinforcement always helps students to feel great about their efforts, even when they make mistakes or are struggling with a task.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
Collecting data and keeping track of students' work is the best way to assess what students may need. Tracking progress from one point to the next helps the teacher to modify lessons accordingly based on students' weak points, or vice versa.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
Students learn in different ways, and the teacher needs to simply see what works or what doesn't works by observation, asking questions and taking notes of where the student is having difficulty.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
I use appropriate texts for vocabulary building, fun worksheets, technology, the dictionary, and any other tool that facilitates learning depending on the type of learner I am tutoring.