Learning should be a fun and easy experience whenever possible. I've taught children for many years and find that when you can make it fun and interesting, you get the best results and the students are happy, too. I like to use games to teach skills whenever that's possible. Because I have taught students with special needs, I am able to use various approaches and techniques in order to help them learn. I start teaching students from where they are with their abilities and skills and then take them from there in small or big steps so that the student has a positive feeling of accomplishment. If my student feels good about what he or she is learning, then I feel I've fulfilled my goal.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: California State University-Sacramento - Bachelors, Education
Graduate Degree: Maharishi International University - Masters, Education
I'm interested in learning about new ideas for teaching children.
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
The most important focus for the teacher is to determine what the student has mastered and what skills the student still needs to continue working on. Then, modify your teaching according to the student's needs.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
I would determine what skills the student has mastered and what skills/areas the student needs help with. I have an array of assessments to do this.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
By first teaching the student the skills needed to be competent in the area being taught, and then giving them material they can do independently, so the student can feel confident working with this kind of material.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
By being sure that I am giving material that the student is interested in. Also, by teaching them the skills they need to feel confident when working with that material.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
Most students learn best either through visual, auditory or sensory motor processing, or a combination of these. I would determine which modality is best for a student, and teach using the best modality for the student.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
I first determine if they are having difficulty with decoding or reading the words in the material. Then I determine if the student understands the meaning of the vocabulary being used in the material. Then I would teach the student about visualizing the material as they read, if that is the best modality for them. I would have them read a smaller part of the material, and go back and make pictures of what they understand the material is about, if that applies. Those are just a couple of approaches I would use.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
To find out what their strengths are and then teach them accordingly. Then find out what areas they need help in, and break down the skills into small steps and teach each step while being vigilant about where the student is on the continuum, and adjusting according to that progress.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
Usually they are struggling because they are being asked to do more than they are capable of. I would determine where they are on the continuum of skills to be learned and start at a place where they are comfortable but still learning.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
Being constantly vigilant to the feedback that the student is giving me through asking questions of the student, testing the skill being taught through flashcards, having the student draw pictures of what they understand about the material read, giving the student test examples and more.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
By being sure the student is working at his or her skill level based on the continuum of that particular subject. Giving the student a lot of positive, specific reinforcement is important.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
I have specific assessments I use to evaluate the student's needs initially. Then I am constantly monitoring their progress to determine what is needed in order to allow the student to progress quickly and easily.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
By determining which is the best modality to work in with each student: visual, auditory, or sensory motor. Then using those approaches as much as possible which the student.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
I have a number of programs; I like to use specific reading programs for phonics, fluency and reading skills. I also have programs for teaching math skills.