I have been a Math, Language Arts, and Social Studies teacher for 10 years in grades kindergarten through 6th. I am also ESL and SPED certified. Tutoring allows me to truly connect with students and understand what will help them succeed. School can feel so overwhelming when certain concepts are not coming into focus. But have no fear. I can help! I keep sessions fun and conversational while focusing on practical applications and deeper understanding. Looking forward to hearing from you!
State University of New York at New Paltz - Bachelors, Communication & Media
Texas State University-San Marcos - Masters, Education
10th Grade Writing
Elementary School Math
High School English
High School Writing
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
In a typical first session, I like to introduce myself and make the situation comfortable by showing the student that I have a laid-back demeanor and sense of humor. I will typically ask them about school, how they feel about it, what they're learning. At that point, I look for commonalities between the student's conceptual misunderstanding and mine when I was in his or her shoes. First sessions are all about building trust and understanding.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
Whenever students say something like "I don't get it," I have them pinpoint and explain exactly what they don't get. If they can find the moment where they stopped understanding something, we can retrace our steps, see what obstacle is standing in the way, and jump over it. This helps students to feel in control of an otherwise overwhelming situation and brings them one step closer to being an independent learner.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
Keeping in contact with students helps them to stay motivated. When they know someone is in their corner, they feel supported and secure. Students also find it very motivating to see their progress over time. Looking back on past assignments always leads to laughter and a sense of pride.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, I will break it down and explain it in several different ways. Remembering the steps of a concept and understanding the theory behind it are very different. I tend to separate the two and not work on the mechanics of a concept until the theory is understood, or vice versa.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
I find it effective to have a student read a passage aloud, then silently, and then check for understanding. It is also helpful to take notes, underline, and reread whenever focus starts to fade.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
Discussing the difficulties I had with specific concepts when I was the student's age helps considerably.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
It is so difficult for a student to feel excited about a subject they're struggling in. At the end of the school day, the last thing a student wants to think about is the subject that gives them the most trouble. I find baby steps work best. Setting attainable goals and working for just a few minutes at a time tends to help students feel successful.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
To be sure a student understands the material, I give them a written or verbal very short pop quiz. I also have them explain the concept and/or try to reteach it to their parents or a sibling.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
Having students take steps toward reaching attainable goals always helps to build confidence, as does marking their progress over time.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
I typically look at homework and assessments to evaluate a student's needs. I also have the student describe what class is like and see if they can pinpoint exactly what it is that is giving them trouble.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
After initially assessing the student's needs, it becomes clear how deep my explanation of certain concepts must be.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
I typically use math manipulatives, dry erase boards/markers, and books that are on or below grade level.
What is your teaching philosophy?
"Give them a fish and they'll eat for a day, teach them to fish and they'll eat forever" is the phrase that has always exemplified my teaching philosophy. My goal is to help students gain confidence in their abilities so they can utilize their critical thinking skills and have the self-assurance to reach their potential.