I am calm, always positive, and encouraging. My sense of humor meshes well with Elementary and Middle School students. I enjoy explaining the "whys", not just the "hows" of math. I support my students as they learn not only math, but also how they learn best and how to work with their strengths and weaknesses. I am an experienced middle school math teacher, teaching many students who experience math anxiety. I especially enjoy interacting with Middle School students and their extreme reactions to the world around them. I have a BS in Elementary Education with a concentration in Middle School Mathematics.
Undergraduate Degree: Evangel University - Bachelors, Elementary Education; Middle School Mathematics
favorite new music artist: Alessia Cara, favorite TV show: Big Bang Theory, Pet: cat named Sweet Pea, favorite sport: tennis, favorite hobby: photography
What is your teaching philosophy?
I believe we are learning new things all the time. I believe students learn best when given the opportunity to use their personal learning styles. I think the best teaching happens when students feel comfortable with their teacher.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
I would like to spend some time understanding my student's history: what they like/dislike about what they are studying, their comfort/confidence level, how they best learn. I would like them to define what a "win" looks like and together come up with a plan to achieve that.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
Once students know their learning styles, how to best approach a concept, and the best way for them to take notes, they can confidently approach new concepts on their own.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
I find that if students feels comfortable around me, the anxiety they feel around math is lessened, because they trust I will be encouraging and not shaming. This helps them keep motivated to try again and again to understand something difficult.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
I am always looking for, and thinking of, different ways to present new concepts. I would make sure I am teaching in their primary learning style, breaking the concept into as small of parts as I can. I often will ask my students to think of a way to explain the skill to someone younger than them.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
I think it is important to find the level of reading where they can read fluently out-loud, start there, and then slowly build from that level. I have a friend who is a professor in Literacy Education. I would pick her brain.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
I have found that if both my students and I know their learning styles, we can build strategies around them. I like to go back to concepts the students are comfortable with and use them as building blocks to show the connection of what they are working on now.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
I think it is important to acknowledge the anxiety that students feel in subjects that don't come naturally to them. It's important for them to have an "aha" moment...even a small accomplishment creates the desire and confidence to try something else.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
I often will ask my students to explain a concept to me as if I were someone younger than them.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
A student's confidence is built through small wins. I ask my students what they perceive as a success, and we will work toward that, making notes of the smaller wins along the way.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
In talking with my students, they will often pinpoint what makes them frustrated and anxious. On a broader note, I am comfortable presenting them with concepts/skills both above and at grade level to evaluate what to work on.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
I think it is critical to approach each student as an individual, with different learning styles, gaps in education, strengths and weaknesses. Some work best drawing pictures to go with the problems, and some need to talk it out. Some need to physically move while working out a problem.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
I have my favorite bag of tricks from my experience teaching in a classroom. These range from manipulatives that help with algebra concept development and fractions, to books with warm-ups and puzzles.