I firmly believe in the following phrase, "empower everyone who is willing to learn, guide them along their journey of self discovery and be there with them until they obtain their goals." Empowering students through education is something I strongly advocate for; the willingness to learn is a great reflection of perseverance. As a first generation college graduate, I received two Bachelor of Arts degrees, one in Human Communication and the second in Spanish Linguistics with a minor in French. I was 1 of 18 students out of thousands who received the Dean's Medal Award for my school department at Arizona State University and finished with a cumulative GPA of 3.64 earning me honors in Magna Cum Laude. I have tutored high school and college level students in Spanish and French. In my experience in helping others understand a language I hold a great appreciation for language learning students who wish to enhance their speaking and writing skills in a foreign language. I wish to impose this passion for languages onto others, and share the beauty in becoming a more globalized citizen of society through the teaching and learning of a second or third language. When I am not in the classroom, I like to write short stories, read in English, Spanish and French, belly dance, go to yoga, weight lift and paint.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: Arizona State University - Bachelors, Communication & Spanish Linguistics
Writing short stories, yoga, singing, belly dancing, painting.
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
Empower everyone who is willing to learn, guide them along their journey of self-discovery, and be there with them until they obtain their goals.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
Create feasible and obtainable goals, make sure the student knows who their tutor is, and make sure myself as a tutor can accommodate the student in any way. Start by talking about learning methods and be on the same page on how tutoring sessions should feel like for each and every student, as everyone learns in different ways.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
Find out how the student works best, lead them up to reaching individual goals, and remind them that anything is possible when they slowly reach to take accountability in learning independently.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
I would constantly encourage the student to reflect on how far they have gotten thus far, and to reflect on why they are seeking help in the first step. Help them celebrate their improvements and help them see how mistakes made are learning experiences.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
I would make sure to understand what specific area of the skill or concept is not being understood, then ask the student what questions they have, address those questions, and if the student can explain to me in their own words what they have learned from the explanation, move forward step by step so as to not confuse or overwhelm the student.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
One specific strategy I find useful is reading a sentence first, then having the student read the sentence after me, then ask the student what they think the sentence wants to say, piece by piece, and if the message of that sentence still ambiguous, read and interpret word by word of the sentence. While this may be a lengthy process, it is usually helpful, especially when reading in French or Spanish, so that the student can observe how the words are used to culminate a meaning, thus improving their attentiveness in increasing their reading comprehension.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
Since I have mostly worked with college level students, when helping someone with a second language, utilizing visual strategies has proven most successful. For example, one tactic has been using flash cards, with either vocabulary or sentences and usually a picture on one side and the translation on the other side. However, also other visual and audio strategies have been proven successful.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
To truly interest a student with a subject they are struggling with, I would engage them in finding a way to make the subject interesting in a personal way. Find some sort of personal connection or relevancy in which the student can fully engage themselves in. For example, learning a language may be rather uninteresting for some individuals, thus making it harder to engage in learning the skill, so finding how this skill can be useful in the personal life of a student can lead to an interest in wanting to surpass the struggle.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
Visual and audio techniques tend to be more effective, of course depending on the student's language level and how comfortable they feel to being exposed to audio in the language being studied and how comfortable they are with learning in a non-traditional textbook environment.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
To build a student's confidence in a subject, it is important to keep track of their success and their achievements in order to remind them that they are improving, or also show them the areas in which they are shining and the ones where more focus should be established.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
To evaluate a student's needs, communication is always important. The tutor and the student must be capable to connect in order to see how myself, as the tutor, will accommodate to the student's learning needs. There should always be direct communication so that nothing is left ambiguous; after all, the student's needs come first.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
By being flexible, understanding and having perspective, I try my best to make sure that the mentoring and tutoring methodology I am using is impacting the student in a way in which they are successfully learning.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
Typically, I like to use a white board with dry-erase markers, flashcards, paper and different colored highlighters, as well a computer for reference.