I recently graduated from Christopher Newport University with my Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology and will graduate in May 2016 with my Masters degree in Elementary Education. My current student teaching position in a Kindergarten classroom, in addition to the many years of experience I have tutoring students on a volunteer basis, has helped me see my true passion for helping young students achieve their goals and dreams. I strongly believe all students can succeed and consider it my job to pull resources, experience, and knowledge together in order to help every student realize their fullest potential. I thoroughly enjoy tutoring students in all grades and subjects of elementary school and especially love helping students work on their reading skills, because I see reading as a way to open up a whole world of information. My organized, but flexible, style of teaching and tutoring helps me address the most important aspects of a student's academic needs while allowing for plenty of freedom for the student to learn as they desire. Overall, I believe no student's dream is too big and together we can make our way down the road to success!
Undergraduate Degree: Christopher Newport Univesity - Bachelors, Psychology
Graduate Degree: Christopher Newport University - Masters, Elementary Education
Dance, crafting, music (singing and playing instruments), reading, and photography
What is your teaching philosophy?
I believe in and implement an organized, but flexible, way of teaching/tutoring. This sets a needed structure to accomplish necessary tasks and also allows the student to direct the pace of learning and often the material discussed. For example, in reading or writing sessions I enjoy allowing the student to pick what they read or write about, as long as it promotes their learning progress in line with predetermined goals.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
In a typical first session, I love getting to know my students as much as possible while also allowing them to get to know me. Developing a personal relationship with students allows for greater communication later on, which helps promote the learning process. In a first session I may bring along some type of "get to know you" activity to begin this relationship. I would then review the material that needs to be covered and provide questions or activities which would determine the student's strengths and weaknesses on the subject. This information would be useful for me to reflect on after the session so that I could plan the most effective approach for the remaining sessions.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
To help a student begin the transition to becoming an independent learner, I would gradually lessen the amount of aid I provide to the student on material he or she is familiar with. For example, if a student makes mistakes without realizing them, I would start by gently pointing out the mistakes and providing as much help as necessary to correct the mistake. Then, the more familiar the student becomes with the material, I would help the student learn how to self-check and eventually even answer his or her own questions by using strategies designed to help correct mistakes or answer questions. All throughout this process I would be there to support and affirm the student, and even step in to provide help as necessary.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
To keep a student motivated, I love to incorporate as much student choice as possible. This means that I remain flexible in how and what is learned so long as the learning targets and goals are being met. By providing the student with the option to choose what material they learn and how quickly or slowly, he or she can stay interested in the subject and therefore learn more efficiently overall. I also enjoy researching for new activities and methods I can incorporate into lessons so that each session is a fresh take on material that a student has already seen before.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
Should a student have difficulty mastering a skill or concept, I would attempt to explain the material again in new ways that may help the student to understand what is going on or what to do next. I am a determined person and refuse to give up on a student, no matter how much he or she may struggle with something. If I still cannot help the student understand the skill or concept, I would delve into my resources in order to find some other way to help the student master the material. I am certainly not above asking for help from colleagues or other resources, and only want my students to succeed!