A photo of Maria, a tutor from Trinity University

Maria

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My philosophy is learning should be challenging, fun, and unique. No student is the same as the other, so no lesson plan should be rigid. Flexibility in education is key to a successful student. Coming from a family of educators, I have become a natural teacher. I enjoy helping students connect with new information and create a love of knowledge. Each student has the potential to be great. They key is for the students to find themselves within the work. And that is what we do; together we make a personal connection between the student and the work.

Maria’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: Trinity University - Bachelors, Fine Arts and History

Hobbies

Art, cartoons, cooking, crafts, creating/building, creative writing, dance, history, literature, music, sports

Tutoring Subjects

1st Grade Math

2nd Grade Math

2nd Grade Reading

3rd Grade Math

3rd Grade Reading

4th Grade Math

4th Grade Reading

5th Grade Math

5th Grade Reading

History

Art History

College English

College Level American History

Elementary Math

Elementary School Math

Elementary School Reading

English

European History

High School English

High School Level American History

Homework Support

ISEE Prep

ISEE- Lower Level

Math

Other

Reading

Social studies

Special Education

SSAT Prep

SSAT- Elementary Level

Summer

Test Prep


Q & A

What is your teaching philosophy?

Hands-on and individualized lesson plans for every participant makes learning an exciting experience and creates a passion for knowledge.

What might you do in a typical first session with a student?

Get to know who the student is by discussing what their hobbies are, what they are interested in, and what motivates them.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

Every student has a skill set or talent in which they are very good at. By acknowledging said talent, we can work it into the lessons so the student can feel confident in working independently.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

Motivation comes from variety and challenges. To keep a student motivated requires diversity within lesson plans and teaching techniques. It also requires the educator to push the student out of their comfort zone, by creating a safe place to make mistakes and create growth.

If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?

We take a break and start off fresh! When confronted with difficulty, there's not only a mental distress but an emotional one as well. Taking a break will allow the student to approach the subject with a fresh start. Then, we reflect on where the disconnect is, and find other means to teach the skills or concept.

How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?

Every student is different and has different hurdles to jump. Together we find where those hurdles are. It can be a number of obstacles such as dyslexia, illiteracy, lack of exposure to the basic reading skills, vocabulary, etc. The goal is to find where the learning block is and address the issue accordingly.

What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?

By not abruptly changing their approaches to school work or studying, I acknowledge that I am entering their space and therefore demonstrating a shared learning environment not one of power over/power under. This provides a space of respect and trust which will create a healthy learning environment. There will be more openness to new subjects and lessons, and less rebellion.

How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?

Everyone is interested in something. Everyone struggles with some subject. The key is combining their interest with the subject. In thus, becoming excited and more engaged in the area of previous difficulty.

What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?

Each one, teach one is a great technique to be sure that a student understand the material. To be able to teach a subject, you must be comfortable enough to describe it in detail, as well as answer questions.

How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?

Learning something new can be scary. It is the unknown, the uncertainty that makes us hesitate and become uneasy. The key to easing the pressure is to start with the known, and ease your way into the unknown. People feel good when they can answer a question correctly. So we start with information and question that the student already knows to build up confidence. We then add questions from a newer subject or topic, but they are few in number. Once the student becomes more comfortable and confident with their responses, we add more and more of the new information. This provides confidence in the subject as well as in the student’s answers.

How do you evaluate a student's needs?

By observing the student's learning habits, style, or lack thereof, I assess where the strengthening needs to be and what is causing the disconnect.

How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?

Most of us have a preference in how and what we want to learn. Often, those preferences are overlooked due to large classrooms and a mandatory curriculum. I use the student's learning preference to address the subject area.

What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?

I believe hands-on learning is the most effective teaching method. My typical tutoring materials consist of coloring utensils (crayons, colored pencils, markers, dry erase board, paper), thesaurus, dictionary, and colorful objects for teaching math (often edibles when given permission from guardian).