I have my Bachelor's degree in Elementary Education and I have one year of teaching experience as a substitute teacher. I enjoy working with children, and my goal is to be a positive influence in student's lives and encourage them academically. As a teacher, It's hard to fulfill this goal with a classroom full of 25+ students and be able to reach each one of them. I prefer tutoring because it's more personal and much easier to build a relationship with students. Some subjects I tutor are Reading, Literature, Phonics, Writing, Essay Editing, Grammar, Public Speaking, and Elementary Math. My most favorite area to tutor is organization. I have experience working with students from Kindergarten through fifth grade and also some college students, but I am willing to work with anyone in between. During my free time, I enjoy baking, singing, hiking (or just being outside), zumba, and watching movies.
Undergraduate Degree: Shepherd University - Bachelors, Elementary Education K-6
Singing, reading, watching movies, spending time with my husband, decorating
What is your teaching philosophy?
I believe that every student has the capacity to learn. If a student is making every effort to improve in a subject, with minimal progress, this is where I can make a difference. I can use their motivation to take them from where they are, to where they want to be academically.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
Most of the session will be a "get to know you" time of interaction. I want to gain insight into the student's strengths and weaknesses, passions and frustrations. Together, we will set short term and long-term goals for the student to accomplish. We would also discuss expectations for me as the tutor, as well as expectations for the student.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
Instead of giving the student an answer, I would ask them questions to help get them to the answer on their own. This will eventually teach them to ask questions on their own to help them get to the answer.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
Students stay motivated if they are interested. Everyone has hobbies and interests, so finding something they enjoy and incorporating it into learning will help keep a student motivated.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
Take a short "brain break" to distract the mind and then come back to the skill or concept. I would also consider finding other methods of teaching the skill or concept.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
This is an area I actually struggled in for a while. I would start by having the student read short passages and answer questions about it after reading the passage. Over time, I would make the passages longer to improve comprehension. Another method I would consider using is reading the questions first, and then going back to read the passage.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
There has to be a balance of praise for their accomplishments. If I don't acknowledge their successes, they will feel like they aren't progressing. However, if I praise too much, it won't mean anything to them if they hear "good job" after everything they do. They won't know when they're really doing a good job or not. The balance depends on the student. A student with low self-esteem will probably need more encouragement than a student who is confident. Another strategy I use is finding a way to connect with the student. The student will engage more with the tutor if they have some sort of commonality other than the subject being tutored.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
I would make the subject relatable to the student. If they are struggling in reading, I would choose a text that incorporates something they enjoy, such as football. Even if the student despises reading, they are much more likely to get engaged if they're reading about football rather than poetry.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
A technique I have used in the past is switching roles and having the student act as the tutor. It's true that if you can teach someone else a concept, you have truly mastered it yourself. Assessments are another means to evaluate a student's understanding of material and can be given in a variety of ways. The most common way is a multiple choice paper and pencil test. You can also evaluate the student's knowledge by verbally asking questions so they can explain it in their own words. They could create a game out of the material or display an example of their knowledge (essay, report, presentation, demonstration, etc.)
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
Using math as an example, I would start out with concepts they already understand and focus on perfecting those in the beginning of tutoring. Once I feel they have mastered those concepts is when we move on to the next set of concepts. Since math commonly builds upon itself, it is critical to have a solid base of foundational knowledge in which to build upon.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
I would start by assessing the information I already have about the student. Their profile may contain some goals or areas that need a little extra attention. This is the ideal place to begin. The first tutoring session is the main time I use to evaluate a student's needs. I usually ask a lot of questions. I make it a point to ask them what they would like to improve or if they have any goals or expectations for the sessions. During subsequent tutoring sessions, I typically pick up on other skills or areas that also need to be addressed in tutoring.