I am a fourth year educator in the state of New Jersey with my experiences coming in the Social Studies and Special Education fields. I currently work at Bridgeton High School in Bridgeton, New Jersey as a Social Studies teacher. I teach Personal Finance, Freshman Seminar, and World History. Before I came to Bridgeton Public Schools, I was a teacher at Eastern Regional High School in Voorhees, NJ for two years where I taught World History and United States History. Prior to teaching at Eastern High School I taught Social Studies at Monroe Township Middle School as a long-term substitute. I am Social Studies and Special Education certified so I have experience working with students of all ability levels.
I have been tutoring in Social Studies after school and through home instruction programs since September of 2013. I have experience tutoring in multiple areas of History including World History and American History, as well as, Geography, Humanities, Sociology, Psychology, Political Science, Government and Politics, and Social Studies. I have taught and tutored in all ranges of academic rigor including Resource/Pull-Out level, College Prep level, Honors level, and Advanced Placement level. I have multiple years of experience as a tutor and home instructor which makes me a great choice for all of your tutoring and home instruction needs.
My academic background is full of educational experiences as I believe it is very important to be a life-long learner. I started my educational journey at Camden County College, where I obtained an Associates Degree in Secondary Education. From there I transferred to Rutgers University. I graduated with my Bachelors Degree in History and African American Studies from Rutgers University. While at Rutgers University I completed the Rutgers University Teacher Preparation Program and graduated from Rutgers University with honors as a Magna Cum Laude graduate. I immediately started a Masters Degree program in Educational Leadership from Penn State University and graduated with my Masters Degree in Education-Educational Leadership in the Spring of 2015. In November of 2014 I also started a second Masters Degree program in Military History with a concentration in World War Two from American Military University. I am currently on pace to graduate with a Masters Degree in Military History from American Military University in the Spring of 2017.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: Rutgers University-Camden - Bachelors, History, African American Studies
Graduate Degree: American Public University System - Current Grad Student, Military History
History, Sports, Movies, Video Games
AP US History
College Level American History
College World History
High School Business
High School Economics
High School Geography
High School Level American History
High School World History
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
My teaching philosophy is one in which the student is very involved. I take a student-centered approach to my teaching and to my tutoring. I provide students with ample opportunities to ask questions, have a discussion on the material, and do independent research through a mix of student-centered activities. I utilize multiple primary and secondary history resources to provide students with a real-life historical perspective. I am very good at making history fun by telling historical stories that do not always make it into the history textbooks, but provide an element of realism to history. My teaching philosophy allows for students to take ownership of their learning and to have fun while they discover the interesting facts and experiences of history.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
My first lesson with a student would start off with multiple getting to know you activities. This will allow me to build a rapport with the student so that they are more likely to complete tasks that I create for them in the future. It will also allow to me to get the types of activities and areas of learning the student is interested in so that I can provide the type of activities that will help the student to get the most out of the tutoring session. I would also ask many history questions based on the topic(s) that the student is working on to gain insight into how much the student already knows and what the student needs to learn. This will help me to better tailor my lessons to meet the student's needs.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
I would work every session with the student by first guiding their learning with activities that I lead. I would then have the student work independently while I would be available to assist them as needed. I would do these types of activities over a long period of sessions, but as the tutoring sessions go on, I would phase out the amount of assistance and guidance that I provide so that the student is working more independently. The ultimate goal that I would strive for is to eventually get the student to the point where they are able to be given a list of independent research activities to discover the learning on a topic that they find important with me acting as just a guide to ensure that they are finding the type of information that they still need to know for school.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
I give official and unofficial formative and summative assessments at the end of a lesson or unit that I have covered to assess how much the student is understanding the material. The assessments may be a handful of multiple choice questions or short-answer questions that help me to gauge student progress.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
I am a big believer in using positive reinforcement to encourage a student to work hard in a subject/class and as a way to build confidence. I will supply praise on a student who is able to answer my questions correctly or provide encouragement to keep trying if the student was incorrect with a question. Doing this, helps keep the student in high spirits, builds their confidence, and teaches them that it is a good thing to take a risk and answer a question even if the answer is wrong.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
I try to gain feedback from students as I tutor them on the activities that they find to be most helpful to their learning. I also use a differentiated instructional approach to my tutoring so that students of different educational learning styles have their needs met. I work with students to find the ways that they learn best.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
I use a mix of handouts that include primary and secondary source readings that usually include questions, handouts that have visual components to them, the textbook as applicable, online resources (including video clips and auditory clips), and summative and formative assessments that I have created that act as a check for understanding and a confidence builder for the student.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
I use a lot of positive reinforcement to keep a student's spirits high and to keep the student motivated. I also mix in a lot of lesser known historical stories so that the student doesn't just hear about facts. I also mix in many different activities, as I take a student-centered approach to my tutoring. This helps me to keep students motivated.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
If I noticed that a student was struggling with a certain skill or concept, I would continue to work with that student to develop their understanding of the skill or concept. I would continue to have the student practice while I guide them. I would utilize this guided practice to help the student to get the concept or skill. I would also change the way that I went about teaching the skill or concept. I would adjust my teaching method until I found the method that worked best for the student to understand the concept or skill.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
I would utilize positive reinforcement to encourage the student to try their best. I would make sure that the student understands that it is okay to struggle with a subject and encourage them to keep trying. This will be aided by the rapport that I build in the very beginning of tutoring sessions to help students buy in to my approach to tutoring the student.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
The most successful strategy that I have found to work when you start working with a student is building rapport with the student. This is accomplished by getting to know some of their personal history and providing them with some of your personal history. This helps them to realize that you are a human being just like they are and that you have to work hard to figure out tough concepts just like they do. Besides building rapport with the student, I also introduce the student to many different ways to learn the material. This helps me to find activities that the student enjoys so I can plan lessons that go to the student's interests.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
I evaluate a student's needs through a mix of check for understandings, student feedback, assessment scores, and answers to tutor questions. This will allow me to better determine what the student's needs are and better assist the student.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
If a student I am working with is struggling with reading comprehension, then I will work with the student to better understand the material. To do that, I will supply the student with background information to better help them understand the situation of the text. I will also teach the student some comprehension techniques like using context clues, which greatly assist with reading comprehension of a historical text.