I believe all students can achieve, and I welcome the opportunity to provide students with the support they need in doing so. I have had the wonderful opportunity to serve as an educator for over twenty years, and I look forward to sharing my experiences and knowledge with students who are at various levels in their learning. For me, teaching and learning is a dual investment for teacher and student. I pride myself on creating optimal learning opportunities in which students can maximize their strengths, while simultaneously being empowered to take on and overcome instructional challenges. Building relationships and meeting students where they are in the learning process is integral in working with students. The work has to be seen as a partnership, where students are encouraged to invest in their learning by taking ownership of the process, all the while receiving feedback and support from the teacher who should serve as thought partner, pushing thinking and shepherding students to dig deeper in order to uncover their true potential.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: Stony Brook University - Bachelors, English
Graduate Degree: Teachers College at Columbia University - Masters, Politics and Education
Reading, Cooking, Spending Time with Family
What is your teaching philosophy?
I believe all students can achieve no matter where they are academically. The success of the teacher lies in his/her ability to meet students where they are and take them to where they need to be. It's about building relationships that allow a teacher to truly know her students in order to create learning opportunities that maximize their strengths while moving them through challenges. Teaching and learning is a constant, ever-evolving relationship of ideas, discovery, and knowledge that is engaged in by both the student and the teacher.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
Building relationships is important to understanding student need and how to fulfill that need. First sessions should be inquiry-based so that I can find out how best to support my student. Once we've uncovered the need, we can begin to action plan around how best to address the area(s) of focus.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
Student ownership of their learning is an integral aspect of students becoming independent learners. I take a back seat and allow students to struggle through their learning process with guided support. That support looks like asking questions to help students think critically about what they're working on to come to conclusions on their own. It also entails providing students with formative feedback that allows them to know specifically where their strengths and areas of improvement are. If students know specifically what they need to work on to improve, they are able to formulate a plan on how to address those areas. This essentially leads to them becoming independent and gaining ownership of their learning.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
Celebrating student achievement is how I would help a student stay motivated. Every accomplishment, whether small or great should be acknowledged, even if a student has a long way to go. Celebrating those milestones or stepping-stones provides students with a sense of pride and knowing that someone is watching and cares. After all, the old adage says, "you get more with honey!"
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
I would investigate the problem. Figure out what specifically is the problem and together with the student work through what we can do to address it. It's my job as a teacher/tutor to know my students and to develop learning plans that meet their specific needs.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
I think it's imperative to go back to the basics. Whether that is using annotations, graphic organizers, visual aids and/or basic comprehension questions, I believe in using strategies that are going to get students to the root of understanding what they read.