I look forward to learning about you and helping you get through your reading, writing, public speaking, social studies, test-taking and organizational challenges. Let's make learning fun and enjoyable. Let me know your interests and we can supplement any reading that includes your hobbies. We can add some games, too. Just remember to bring your homework and due dates so I can help you stay on task and ahead of your assignments.
I coordinated a tutoring program in CA for Hewlett-Packard and worked with first through 12th grade individually with shy kids, U.S. kids, and those from a different culture. In addition, I volunteered with Toastmasters Public Speaking for kids and will be a judge for mock trials for middle school. Last month, I learned about mock trials with high school students, and it was very interesting.
I have a Masters in Educational Technology from University of Pittsburgh in PA, undergraduate degree in psychology and sociology from Duquesne University, and advanced paralegal certificate from Duquesne University. I taught K-12 in San Diego and also wrote test questions for Measurement, an educational testing company. I also taught at Duke, as well as University of Phoenix online. I look forward to meeting you!
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: Duquesne University - Bachelors, Psychology and Sociology
Graduate Degree: University of Pittsburgh-Pittsburgh Campus - Masters, Education
Mock trials, healthy baking, reading, and music.
What is your teaching philosophy?
My teaching philosophy is teaching the student holistically rather than the subject. By that, I mean I like to involve all five senses and make learning experiential, and customize the learning to make it interesting and fun for each student. Finding a student's motivation helps me understand how to tailor the sessions and suggest supplemental material. If I find a student is unmotivated, then I explore different strategies or other methods to expedite the learning curve. We all learn at different rates and different ways. The best way is making it meaningful and fun!
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
In a typical first session, I would ask the student to fill out a brief questionnaire with a 1-10 rating of their motivation, specific needs, hobbies and anything special I need to know(ADD, Dyslexia or hearing challenges). Also, I would ask if they prefer emails or phone calls for any contact in-between sessions. If they prefer to share their report cards or teachers' comments, I would be happy to review it. I would share that I welcome all questions and ask which learning style they prefer(logical, verbal, physical with hands-on, etc.) I would double check with the parent whether or not it is ok to bring a healthy treat once in a while.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
I can help students become an independent learner by encouraging them to bring their necessary supplies such as homework, pens and a computer. Also, they should bring their class day planner to check due dates and jot down questions that we can talk about when I return.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
I would help a student stay motivated by exploring initially what motivates him/her. If they become unmotivated, I suggest we revisit what motivated them in the beginning. Then we collaborate and develop a game plan to stay motivated with their favorite learning style. If materials at school aren't keeping their interest, we can explore supplemental aids online, or explore health issues such as eye problems and medical referrals, or ADD issues related to focus.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, I would ask for his/her suggestions initially. As a team, we could explore other ways of learning the subject that are more suitable to their learning style. I always strive to make learning fun and interesting. I would also check for interfering noises, and suggest classical music for studying.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
To enhance reading comprehension, I would suggest a method from Cornell that generally works effectively to improve comprehension.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
Active listening, smiling and engaging the student, and welcoming questions have always worked well.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
I would ask some questions to make it meaningful to them. For example, if civics bores them, we could talk about laws and mock trials that engage their critical thinking and problem-solving skills.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
I would suggest that we read the questions at the end of the chapter so we are reading purposefully. Then, we should pay attention to the pictures and the topic sentence, so we can get the total picture of the passage. If the student doesn't understand the question, I can say it another way and encourage him/her to ask the teacher to reword the question in class.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
I give them affirmations when they get concepts correctly. I remind them of their great progress, and that they are doing much better than a month ago or so(if that is the case).
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
I evaluate a student's needs by asking probing questions rather than simply "yes" or "no" questions. I gauge their enthusiasm by their voice tone and willingness to answer questions. I look for patterns in their understanding of the subject matter.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
I adapt the tutoring to the student's needs by providing a learning style questionnaire or simply asking which method they like to learn. If they don't understand questions, I reword them in different ways or explain words that may be unclear.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
I use engaging materials that provide thought-provoking questions with pictures of real people and up-to-date information and events. I provide reading that is at their reading level rather than grade level if they are behind in reading comprehension.