I am a recent graduate of the University of Delaware with a Bachelor of Arts in Foreign Language, Literature and Culture (specifically Spanish Studies).My grandparents are from the Dominican Republic so I grew up immersed in the Spanish language from a very young age. I have worked with students of all ages from elementary school to college.I make an effort with my students to make things as fun and interactive as possible. I believe it is important to cater each student's individual learning needs. For example an auditory learner may learn better through music and song while a visual learner may benefit more through flash cards images. Whatever it takes, it is my job to find a method that suits the student best and create a comfortable and productive learning environment. In my spare time enjoy reading and exercising. I am a long distance runner and recently just participated in the Philadelphia Marathon. I am hoping to compete in the 2016 NYC Marathon this November.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: University of Delaware - Bachelors, Foreign Language, Literature and Culture: Spanish Studies
Long Distance Running, Marathons, Reading, NY Jets, NY Mets. Philadelphia Flyers
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
I think it's important to be aware what kind of learning style your students respond best to. For example, a visual learner like myself would find it more productive to write things out and pair visual images with a new vocabulary word being learned. Being in tune with how you learn is crucial to thriving as a student!
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
First sessions are a time to find out as much about your student as possible. What learning style do they respond best to? What are their strengths? Weaknesses? Do they have any kind of learning disabilities? A proper introduction goes a long way.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
Students need to feel comfortable taking the initiative to practice learned material on their own. Finding out where problems arise for them and addressing the issue during a tutoring session is key to ensuring the student will be able to get the same results on their own.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
One of the best ways to motivate is to reward! Offering praise for a job well done when appropriate is a confidence booster. It also helps to give candy or little rewards here and there. Another good way to keep your student motivated is to make the lesson plan fun!! Activities, games and even music go a long way in helping your student learn. I like to get creative and find fun ways to present the material.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
First and foremost, stay patient with the student. It can be frustrating for the student when they are having trouble understanding something. Sometimes looking at something from a different perspective will help. Sometimes you need to take a quick break and focus on something else to give your brain a breather. It's important to cater to the student's needs and learning style.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
For Spanish, one of the best approaches is to highlight the words you do know and understand and make notes of what they are above the word. From there you can fill in the blanks based on context clues like you might in English.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
I think it's important to make things fun for your students. I am big on getting creative. Incorporating music, games or other activities to make things more interesting is a big help.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
Flashcards and quizzing a student are helpful, but even going as far to issue practice quizzes or tests for the student might help. Taking a look at what they got wrong on your practice test can help figure out what areas they'll need to work on before they take the real test at school.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
Praising a student for a job well done is equally important to providing constructive criticism and useful feedback. When they finally grasp a difficult concept that they've been struggling with, I’m always sure to congratulate them for getting through that hurdle.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
If I have an auditory learner, incorporating music might be the best way to get the information across to them. On the other hand, if you have a visual learner, flashcards or props might be the best way to go in that case. You need to cater to their strengths and weaknesses.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
I have a lot of songs I’ve learned in school over the year, but I also like to use flash cards with images on them. Sometimes books or games are necessary. Getting creative and making things fun is going to get the student's attention and make things less painful for them.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
I listen to their concerns. I like to have them vocalize to me the areas they feel like they need the most help in. Sometimes a practice homework assessment or practice test will also help pinpoint the mistakes their most prone to and see what areas they are stronger in.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
Knowing how they learn is important. I like to ask if they are more a visual learner or an auditory learner. That helps me cater to their specific needs.