I am very excited to work with people like yourself who value education, who are eager to learn something new and who want to improve themselves! My job is to make the materials we are working with as easy for you to understand as possible while making the lessons fun and engaging.
I have several years of teaching experience (I have a Master's Degree in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages), and I know what works to make difficult material easier to digest and understand. I have also done extensive international travel. I have lived in the Caribbean twice for a total of 5 years (Dominican Republic, 3 years, the Cayman Islands, 2 years), Europe for 3 years (Denmark 2 years, Spain 6 months and varied travel throughout the rest of western and eastern Europe), the Middle East (Dubai) for 3 years, and Southeast Asia for 1 year (Indonesia, Thailand, China, HK and Singapore). I tell you this because it has enriched my life in so many ways, including how I approach teaching both the non-native English speaker who wants and needs to learn better English; the native English speaker who may struggle with grammar and professional, business or formal writing (college students, new graduates, etc.); and the English speaker who simply wants to learn and/or improve his/her Spanish language for high school or college or even to prepare for a business or leisure trip to South America or Spain.
Before we start the tutoring process, we will have a very casual discussion to get to know one another: For me to best understand exactly what it is you wish to get out of the class and for you to share with me your expectations of the class. I want to ensure that you get the most value from our time together, and the only way I can do that is to understand your motivations and feelings and to uncover your strengths and areas of improvement. We can then create a plan to build on those strengths to help us better focus on the areas you are seeking to enhance or "fix." Since I have lived a large portion of my life abroad, I often like to use some of the real-life situations I encountered to help me clarify important concepts. And I love to write! Everywhere I went I wrote about my experiences, so not only am I very proficient in formal writing, I am also a prolific story-teller.
Once again, I am very excited to have the opportunity to work with you so that we can tackle the challenges you face together!
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: Susquehanna University - Bachelors, Accounting
Graduate Degree: New York University - Masters, TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages)
Traveling, writing, reading, gardening, sports of any kind.
What is your teaching philosophy?
I believe in understanding what the student's motivations are; that is, why did he come to me for help? What does she hope to get out of the class? Only then can I build a course outline and design the lessons to ensure the student walks away with as much value as possible!
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
I like to empower my students, and the only way to do this is to make the lessons engaging. To create an engaging lesson, it's first important to understand the student as a person: what he likes, what she dislikes, etc. Once I have that knowledge, I can tailor my lessons to leverage those preferences and make the material as engaging as possible to that particular student. This strategy creates a default by which the student is automatically drawn to the material and will become an independent learner on his/her own.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
Students stay motivated when they are rewarded. Now, I am not talking necessarily about tangible rewards. No. I am referring to rewarding satisfaction of mastering the material. No one likes to do things that they are not good at. If they feel success in something, they thirst for more. Successes do not always have to be big, but they should at least be noticeable enough to carry the interest into the next session or into the work they are assigned at home.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
I will take the time to get to know the student a bit better and have him or her get to know me. I'll then ask what his/her expectations are to ensure he/she gets the most value from the sessions. Then we will discuss his/her strengths and areas of improvement.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
If it is a major hurdle, I would move on for the moment to avoid frustration. We could always come back to it in the future, as long as it is not a critical concept. If it is the latter, then I would need to contextualize the material into the most familiar, realistic situation possible in order to provide familiarity for the student. Students learn best through familiarity.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
We would read in smaller chunks and review each chunk. I would also ask the student to take notes as he/she goes forward.