I am a fourth year Special Education Teacher with a Master's in Special Education Instruction. I have worked with both general education students, and special education students with mild to moderate disabilities. I also have experiencing working with students in the "middle" who need academic intervention in phonics, reading comprehension, math calculation or problem solving, and writing. I have helped students fill academic holes that they may have due to poor school experiences, or due to never receiving enough one on one instruction to catch up to their peers. While I have worked with students up to grade 11, my specialty is helping kids in grades K-8 to build the skills they need to be successful in high school and beyond. I am upbeat and patient, but also rigorous in my instruction. I focus on conceptual understanding, and I can relate to any student's specific learning style. I also provide study skills and organization help to improve academic independence in students.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: Univeristy of Missouri - Bachelors, Sociology
Graduate Degree: University of Nevada Las Vegas - Masters, Special Education and Instruction
Reading (fiction and non-fiction), Working out, Trying new restaurants (I'm a foodie!), Superhero movies, and Hearing live music
Elementary School Math
High School English
Study Skills and Organization
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
Good teaching starts with building trust with my students so that they are confident to try and to make mistakes. I also believe in teaching conceptual understanding. I want the student to know why their answer is correct and to be able to defend their own ideas.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
I start each session getting to know the student's personality and learning style so that I can teach to their interests and strengths. I also like to ask the student what their goals are for their own learning, as well as the guardian. I can then set an action plan to meet those goals which will also include recommendations for skill-building practice if the student is able to work outside of our sessions.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
Independent learning happens when students know how to study and complete schoolwork on their own. I can teach organization and study skills strategies that will create a home environment conducive to work, as well as help set clear academic goals that will motivate the student to work toward.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
I would help a student stay motivated with positive praise and engaging feedback. I have a sense of humor that typically keeps students working and happy. If there are severe motivation issues, I will work with the family to tie in-house incentives to performance in tutoring sessions.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
I break down exactly where the student is having difficulty and explicitly re-teach the concept. This may be done through analyzing their student work or asking them to explain something back to me. I always pay attention to learning styles and provide visual representation if needed. If the difficulty is fluency related, I may provide extra skill-building exercises that the student can do with me and outside of our sessions.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
I help students identify what grade-appropriate strategy will work best for them and how to use that strategy. Examples can be predicting, questioning, annotating, re-reading, etc. I provide note-taking templates that help with comprehending grade level text with both explicit and implicit details. I also have resources to practice with curriculum they are currently reading or with outside text. Reading comprehension is my specialty!
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
I can use a variety of techniques to determine a student's needs. I like to start with informal interviews with both the student and guardian. I then have resources that I can ask students to complete to determine current levels of performance. And if allowed, I am also certified to interpret needs based on educational documents such as progress reports, MDT reports, or IEPs.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
I find that taking interest in what the student likes helps me make the subject matter more relatable. I also make sure to assess early on to find deficits, but also praise strengths to build confidence.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
I would find out what they have the most difficulty with or what reservations with the subject they may have. I find honesty with my own experience and reassurance up front can make the student more willing to see it as something they can accomplish with hard work. I also identify specific, measurable skills to work on so that the student can see they're making progress.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
I give informal assessments where I am asking the student to directly demonstrate a given skill. These assessments can be self-created or found online. I don't score the assessment for just correctness. I ask the student to describe how they arrived at the answer to ensure they are truly comprehending. This gives me a chance to break down their operational thinking, especially in math, to determine exactly where they need continued support.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
I take time to praise students as they demonstrate progress, whether big or small. I also encourage them to share their progress with family/others so that they are feeling proud of success, even after our session.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
I usually use technology based resources, such as programs and websites designed to support a specific skill. Being a teacher allows me to have access and knowledge of the latest online resources. Sometimes I also like good old fashioned pencil and paper when working on writing or math skills.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
I take time to assess often so that I can identify where exactly the student needs support. I also mold my teaching style to the student's needs based on their attentiveness, confidence, and progress.