Teaching is a passion of mine, and I believe that there is a way to help every student achieve their greatest potential. My favorite part of teaching is seeing the "light bulb" above a student's head when they have been struggling with a concept and finally get it.
I taught a high school classroom of high functioning students with autism in a therapeutic school for over four years. My teaching experience was very enjoyable, but highly frustrating as well. We worked hard to change behaviors and motivate progress academically and socially. Unfortunately we did not always have the support of families, and in order to really progress expectations in the home and at school need to be on the same page.
I look forward to working with students who really want to learn. My favorite and best subject is math, and I like to take a problem solving approach to teaching it. Many students struggle with word problems, but they are the only kind of problems that we ever run across in the real world, and with a good foundation of problem solving skills, the things that you learn in math can translate to many other facets of life.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: Roosevelt University - Bachelors, Special Education
ACT Math: 31
Music, disc golf, gardening
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
I believe in guided questioning, and allowing students to come up with solutions on their own. People have different learning styles, but all have the potential to excel if they are properly guided.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
Establish a relationship first and foremost. Then assess what a student knows and set goals for what they will know.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
Through guided questioning and scaffolding, a learner builds confidence as they progress and soon won't need my help at all.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
Setting goals and rewards is key to maintaining motivation.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
Try as many approaches to the skill as possible until something works. With multiple learning styles there is a way to help every student.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
Use high interest material to build confidence first, and use graphic organizers to help the student retain what they have read
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
Bloom's taxonomy and questioning are key to helping a student achieve their best.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
Use material that they are interested in, and try to connect the skills they have already built in subjects that they do enjoy to the ones they struggle with
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
CBM assessment is a quick way to gauge where a student is. With reading, asking the student to retell or summarize what they have read.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
First help them to overcome anxiety and relax. Celebrate the small victories and give verbal praise with each achievement along the way.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
Looking at graded work, talking to the student and family or giving the student probes to see what skills are strong and what are lacking.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
Every student is different; every student will not respond to the same strategies. Some is trial and error, and some can be based on the student's particular learning style.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
There is a wealth of material online for each and every level of the common core standards. This covers pencil and paper without much investment. Manipulatives like counting blocks and algebra tiles can really help that tactile learner. As a teacher in a therapeutic school I had to create a lot of my own materials, so I have gotten pretty good at coming up with something on the fly.