Education is the gateway to opportunity. As an experienced teacher, I have a passion for facilitating student achievement. I bring the same expertise and energy to tutoring. As a team, the student and I will determine where the student is, where the student wants to be, and we will efficiently work to bridge this gap.
I possess a B.S. degree in Deaf Education with concentrations in English and math from the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma and an M.A. degree in Linguistics from Gallaudet University, with additional graduate credits in education. I am certified in the areas of math, English, special education, and deaf education.
I am currently in my eleventh year of full-time teaching. In my teaching career I have taught high school English and math courses at all levels, from remedial to Advanced Placement. I currently teach senior English courses, including Advanced Placement Literature and composition.
During both my undergraduate and graduate studies, I served as a tutor for both math and English for college students, and as a TA (teaching assistant) in English and Linguistics. In the last several years, I have taught test preparation courses at Gallaudet University for teachers who will be taking the Praxis teacher certification exam in reading, writing, and math.
In addition to experience teaching and tutoring various courses and levels of English and math, I have a wealth of experience in test preparation and test taking. As a student myself, I have personal experience preparing for and taking standardized tests. As a result of my ACT scores, I earned a full college scholarship. I also successfully completed AP exams in Calculus, Language and Composition, Literature and Composition, Government, Psychology, and Microeconomics. As a teacher I continue to prepare my students for standardized tests including the ACT, AP Literature and Composition exam, and Common Core assessments.
Outside of my professional life, I enjoy a wide variety of interests. As an English teacher, reading is high on my list. I usually have at least two books going. I love sports, especially basketball. I follow the NBA, and root for my home team, the Oklahoma City Thunder. I enjoy cooking. Italian food is my specialty, though I cook many types of food. Another of my hobbies is music. I attend concerts frequently. I like a variety of types of music, but my favorites are blues and folk.
My tutoring sessions start with a short conversation. I find out your goals for the session, and any concerns or challenges you have with the subject matter. Then, using your own materials, my materials, or a combination of the two, we begin to master the content through examples, explanation, modeling, and practice. Between sessions, I will often point the student toward additional resources that can be used in the student's own time to make our sessions more efficient. If the student is struggling with a concept, there is no reason to worry; I am able to give multiple strategies, explanations, and examples to meet any student's needs.
I look forward to the opportunity to work with you as your personal tutor!
Undergraduate Degree: University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma - Bachelors, Deaf Education
Graduate Degree: Gallaudet University - Masters, Linguistics
ACT Composite: 31
ACT English: 32
ACT Reading: 31
Reading, basketball, cooking
Elementary School Math
High School English
What is your teaching philosophy?
Student engagement is key. Make learning relevant to the student. Guide the student through a task, don't simply tell them how to do it.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
I would take a moment to get to know the student, then assess their goals and present level of performance.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
Allow the student to do as much possible on his own. I support the student as needed to reach the next level, but I don't spoon-feed.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
Review progress periodically. Show the student how he has progressed, and give him a preview of what is coming next. Discuss how this progress may contribute to future success in and out of the classroom.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
Try a different approach. One size does not fit all.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
I work with these types of students on specific reading skills such as figurative language, main idea, context clues, and inference.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
A quick chat with the student is a good way to start. I'd like to know what the student would like to work on, and a little about the student's prior experience with the material. Specifically, what struggles has the student had?
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
Talking a little about the end goal is often helpful. What's the reward for this work? A better grade? College admission? A scholarship?
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
Teachers love questions. I question my students throughout my instruction to be sure that they are on the same page that I am. In addition, I give students the opportunity to develop and demonstrate their understanding through performance. When I see the student independently answer a question, this is evidence that they understand the material.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
Repetition with success is the greatest confidence builder. After instruction, I give examples for the student to demonstrate understanding. When the student begins to answer consistently and correctly, confidence grows. I provide review opportunities to ensure that knowledge and confidence are retained.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
Evaluation of a student's needs starts with asking the student. A performance evaluation is then often helpful. When I see the mistakes that a student makes, I can identify what possible issues might be causing those mistakes.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
There are usually several ways to get to the correct response and a variety of tools that can help a student. If the conventional approach is not working, I don't want the student to become frustrated. I will try another approach and/or introduce a tool or strategy that may be more successful.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
The materials I use depend on the needs of the student. If the student already has materials, we will start with those. However, I am able to supplement or start from scratch with other materials. Fortunately, the Internet is full of resources that students can use for free. I like to use the Internet because of the amount of material available and the ease of access. This gives the student the opportunity to continue to progress between tutoring sessions and makes tutoring sessions more efficient.