As a teacher with 18 years' experience in education, including 4 years as a math instructional specialist, I enjoy working to prepare for tests as well as ongoing remediation. My goal is to increase both confidence and ability in all of my students.
Undergraduate Degree: Texas A & M University-Commerce - Bachelors, Elementary Education - Mathematics Specialization
Graduate Degree: Grand Canyon University - Masters, Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages
State Certified Teacher
Reading, participating in triathlons, butterfly gardening
Elementary School Math
High School English
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
Students must know that they do know some things about the subject, so I would focus on what they do know as a foundation.
What is your teaching philosophy?
Students should be able to ask questions and get help without feeling any sort of embarrassment or shame. They should be able to function in an environment free of any sort of shame.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
In a first session, I want to accomplish two things: 1. Get to know the student. I ask them questions about their likes and interests so that we can use that later to create scenarios. 2. Find out where the student is academically. I bring sample questions that we work through together to assess their knowledge.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
In a session, I typically do very little of the work and as little talking as possible. I have the student explain the questions to me and show me how to answer them.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
Encouragement goes a long way toward motivating students. They also like tangible rewards at times. I recently had burgers with a student who had done exceptionally well, and bought some special school supplies for another.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
Whenever a student gets stuck on a concept, I have them explain it to me so that I can hear where the gaps are in their understanding. From there, we can fill in the missing information and move forward.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
1. Teach the material in a straight-forward way, preferably using manipulatives. 2. Have the student repeat the steps or instructions to me. 3. Ask the student to complete a problem or answer a question about the material. 4. Reteach in a different way if necessary.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
I allow the students to lead me in showing what they know. From there I go faster or slower depending on their ability.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
I use humor to help the students relax and bring a general review to help us find gaps that need to be filled.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
Make the subject relevant to them by using examples from their everyday life or subjects that do interest them (such as favorite sports).
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
I start at a basic level comparable to their grade level and move forward, looking for gaps or other barriers to understanding.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
I create problems of my own to start with, then find computation or word problems from the internet.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
I ask the student to restate the sentence in his or her own words or tell me what the sentence/question is saying.