I am a graduate the University of Wisconsin in River Falls and La Universidad de Costa Rica. I received my Bachelor of Arts in Spanish and my Master's degree in Teaching English as a Second Language. I have traveled extensively for work and school which has helped me to strengthen my language skills as well as adapt my teaching to a variety of different cultures. I lived abroad for a total of seven years and returned to the United States to start a family two years ago. I am currently teaching Spanish and ESL for grades K-8. During my time abroad, I taught ESL to many different age groups from children to retired adults. I also have three years of experience teaching languages through an online platform. I love language and this has driven me to be a very passionate teacher. I believe that patience and realistic goal setting are key in creating a positive and enjoyable learning environment. In addition, every student learns in a different way. I work hard to figure out how my students learn best and adapt my teaching style to best suit their needs.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: University of Wisconsin - River Falls - Bachelors, Spanish
Graduate Degree: Universidad de Costa Rica - Masters, TESOL
Spending time with my husband and 7 year old son
What is your teaching philosophy?
I believe that teaching needs to be adapted to fit an individual student's needs. Each student learns in a unique way, which requires unique instructing.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
A fun icebreaker! It's important to feel relaxed and comfortable when learning a new language.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
By providing him or her with resources that they can use outside of the classroom to further develop their skills. Also, by teaching them key communication strategies!
How would you help a student stay motivated?
Specific praise it huge. It's more than "good job;" it's a comment that specifically highlights individual growth.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
I walk those students through a series of important reading strategies. I would also recommend that they expose themselves to as much content as possible. The more background knowledge students have, the more they are able to infer.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
By recognizing the small accomplishments. When students feel they are making progress, it's exciting!
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
I ask comprehension questions that start as easy questions and increase in difficulty to determine what level of understanding the student has of that material.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
By recognizing progress and giving them challenging, but achievable work.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
I adjust my strategies to fit student learning styles (visual, auditory, etc.), and also make sure I am moving at a pace that is comfortable for the student.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
Go back a few steps and make sure the foundation is present. Typically students struggle with a skill or concept because they still haven't mastered the skill or concept that preceded it. Students need material to be scaffolded.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
It is important to establish rapport with students. When students feel comfortable with their teacher, it's easier to ask questions and make mistakes. When I first start to work with a student, I always take some time to get to know them before starting with the lesson.