A photo of Leslie, a tutor from California State University-Los Angeles

Leslie

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I enjoy working with students of all ages to build their skills, grow their confidence, and help them achieve their educational goals.

Leslie’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: California State University-Los Angeles - Bachelors, Journalism

Graduate Degree: National University - Masters, Education

Hobbies

Reading, Writing, Tennis, Dance

Tutoring Subjects


Q & A

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

I best help students become independent learners by presenting study strategies that can be transferred from the tutoring session to the classroom. Praise and encouragement are also important. Positive reinforcement can inspire students to "keep at it" and, as I have seen firsthand, often changes students' entire attitudes toward learning, no matter what the subject. Helping students become self-motivated will also create independent learners.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

I believe students stay motivated when they know they are successful. Each small success builds confidence and incrementally strengthen skills. It is important to praise students for their progress and remind them how each step is building upon another in their learning process. Education is always a work in progress, but it is important to look at how far the student has come.

How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?

I think it is important to look at the components of a reading passage to determine ways to better understand its message. There are many components to writing: vocabulary, grammar, punctuation, sentence length and structure, topic sentences, context clues, etc. All of these pieces come together to create a reading passage, no matter what its length. I think it is important to help students recognize these components. In addition, the theme, tone, and mood of the writing are also important in understanding what the writer wanted to say. Examining the parts of a passage and what each represents helps to build strength in reading comprehension. The process becomes not so overwhelming and can help students not get distracted and give up.

How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?

I tell students that no one likes every subject and that they will be better in some than in others. However, we can gain something from anything we learn. A fun challenge is to find one "take away" from a lesson, or subject, that the student can use in another subject or in everyday life. A pleasant surprise can be when a subject we thought we hated and would never learn is a subject we come to truly enjoy. Many a career path has been redirected this way!

How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?

Encouragement, encouragement, encouragement! Keep looking at the steps along the way and remind the student how far he/she has come. That momentum keeps students going.

How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?

There is no such thing as cookie cutter education, or tutoring. The initial plan for tutoring a student needs to be continually evaluated along the way to make sure that the needs are being met, progress is being made, and the student's skill level and confidence are building.

What is your teaching philosophy?

I believe every student can succeed. In education there is something called the "Pygmalion Effect." It is based on the belief that every student can reach new levels of learning. Although every student may not reach the same level of learning, the important thing is for the student to keep striving to improve, build their knowledge and skills, and gain the confidence to enjoy learning and to keep reaching for new heights.

What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?

When working with students, I believe it is important for them to feel comfortable and not embarrassed to need help and extra support. That is why it is important for the student to know that questions are welcome, that I am here to help, and that together we will build the necessary skills and confidence for them to achieve their goals.

How do you evaluate a student's needs?

I discuss with the student what they believe their strengths are and where they are in need of help. I look at the work they have done and evaluate areas I think we should address. I plan our lessons accordingly and continually evaluate progress and where adjustments should be made.

What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?

The materials I use during the lesson depend on the skill we are working on. I try to incorporate a combination of all learning styles--visual, auditory, and hands-on activities--so the student is engaged. This also helps to reinforce the lesson objective. These could be anything from math manipulatives, phonics games, vocabulary word searches, sentence completion challenges, etc.

If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?

I would continue to encourage and try a different approach to learning the skill or concept. I would also remind the student of the successes and accomplishments we have made along the way and stress that we don't always get everything the first, second, even the third or fourth try. The goal is to meet the challenge head on and keep working at it.

What might you do in a typical first session with a student?

I think it is important to hear from students firsthand what they believe their strengths and weaknesses are. If possible, I look at some examples of their work. Both help me determine how to best proceed and to plan lessons accordingly. I encourage the student to ask questions and not hesitate to say when they don't understand something. Often, students in the classroom are afraid to speak out and ask questions, which makes it easy to fall behind.

What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?

I reinforce skills along the way through various activities that don't appear test-like in nature (which can build anxiety), but are fun and challenging to the student. This lets me know they have mastered the material, or if we need some additional practice on the particular skill.