It took me a while in my life to figure out that teaching was my calling. I started out by receiving my bachelor's degree from Knox College in Economics and Business and my master's degree from Webster University in Human Resources. In 1998, I decided to change careers and went back to college to become certified in Elementary Education. I taught for 13 years in the St Louis Public School District where I taught all the Elementary subjects including math, reading, and writing in grades 2-5. I also taught ELL classes to the same age groups. My elementary classes consisted of 65-95% ELL students which prompted me to going back to school and receive my master's in Education TESOL -Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages. This degree also gives me a TESOL certification. I recently spent two years teaching Title 1 reading and math to students in grades K-5 in St Louis Catholic Schools.
During my 15 years of teaching, I have tutored many students as well as worked with students in small groups. I have the experience of tutoring students who are often working many grade levels below their actual grade according to their age. This gives me the background to find fun and creative ways to help students learn and improve their math and reading in order to function in their classrooms.
In my free time, I enjoy walking, reading, riding my bicycle, traveling, listening to music, and singing in my church choir. I also enjoy many sports like baseball, football, tennis, hockey, and most sports in the Olympics. I am a big St Louis Cardinals fan. I often incorporate sports and music into my lessons when students show an interest.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: Knox College - Bachelors, Economics/Business
Graduate Degree: Webster University - Masters, Education TESOL
Walking, reading, riding my bicycle, traveling, listening to music, and singing in my church choir. I also enjoy many sports like baseball, football, tennis, hockey, and most sports in the Olympics. I am a big St Louis Cardinals fan.
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
I am a firm believer that every child has the ability to succeed and that he or she just needs to tools given to them to succeed. I believe that in order for students to improve they must find learning enjoyable. This is why I want to know my student's interests and hobbies in order for them to connect to what they are learning.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
I usually take the time to get to know my student. I want to know what is going on inside his or her head about the subject they are needing help with. I also will do a general analysis to determine the strengths and weaknesses of my student.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
Students need to see or hear how something is done so they can have the confidence that they are able to do it on their own. I make sure I model everything before having the students work on their own. I will guide them as much or as little as needed until they are able to work independently. My goal is to have every student gradually take over the learning process.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
I am constantly monitoring the student's learning and progress. Keeping the line of communication open between student and tutor is important to monitor progress. This will allow me to notice when students are not as motivated as they have been. Since I know my students, I will utilize ideas and things that will interest them and keep them on track. I also constantly praise them for what they do well.
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 try to teach it a different way. We would discuss the problems the student is having and see if there is a different angle to use to see if the student will then understand.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
I have several ways to help struggling students improve their reading comprehension. Most of these ways include breaking down the passage and pulling out the details of the story. After that, we determine whether these details are important. I then use different types of questions to help the student comprehend the passage.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
I always take the time to get to know the student and to find out where their weaknesses and strengths lie.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
By getting to know the students I will find out what they get excited about in their lives. This will help me create lessons that interest and excite my students.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
The techniques I use will depend on the subject being taught. In math, I have them independently work a problem out, and then I will have then tell me what they did. In other subjects, I often use questions or other projects/activities to determine if they are understanding what is being taught.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
I build the student's confidence by always finding what they are doing correct and making sure there is praise for successes.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
I evaluate their needs by discussing what the student is struggling with, and then do some form of assessment that fits what the student is struggling with.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
The types of materials I use depends again on the subject. In math I often use many hands on items to enhance learning. In the other subjects, it will depend on what is being taught.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
I am constantly adapting my tutoring to the student’s needs. I will determine how I am going to tutor students by where they are educationally. I will do more modeling and assisting with the younger students. The older students will work more independently, with me being there to guide them.