I am currently a 4th grade Language Arts teacher. I have been teaching professionally for 4 years, and have been working in education and tutoring for over 8 years. I graduated from Flagler College with a Bachelor's Degree in Elementary Education, with endorsements in ESOL and Reading (K-12). I am also beginning my Master's Degree at Jacksonville University, focusing on Literacy. I have a huge passion for teaching, and especially for struggling students who need an extra push or additional strategies to be successful. I have experience tutoring both reading and math, and I have also taught both subjects professionally at the elementary level. I am looking very forward to meeting new students who I can help!
Flagler College-St Augustine - Bachelors, Elementary Education
Jacksonville University - Current Grad Student, Literacy
Elementary School Math
FCAT 2.0 Prep
High School English
Study Skills and Organization
What is your teaching philosophy?
My teaching philosophy includes the idea that no one student is like another in their learning styles. I believe that each student deserves to be taught in a way in which they will be most successful. There are many different strategies and methods of teaching any given topic, and I believe that offering a variety of tools and strategies for my students is key in ensuring they can perform at their best.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
In a first session with a student, I would likely begin with some sort of interest inventory, where I can gauge the student's preferred learning style (auditory, visual, kinesthetic, etc.) and their specific interests in a given subject area. This would allow me to ensure I bring appropriate materials and strategies for that student, as well as alter my teaching style based on their learning preferences. I would also likely bring some sort of diagnostic assessment in the area of concern to find the student's specific strengths and weaknesses in each subject they may be struggling with. This would allow me to pinpoint specifically where I need to work with the student, as well as find where the student does not need as much attention, so I can be as efficient in the time we are given in future sessions.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
I can help students become independent learners by giving them a variety of strategies that can help them in working independently. As a classroom teacher, I have found several strategies for test taking, as well as independently reading, that have proven successful for varying students. Based on the child's needs, I may use any of the following that could help in creating an independent learner: timers to ensure the student learns time limits; goal charts to track student growth over time to make the student intrinsically motivated to work harder; test-taking strategies/acronyms to help the student understand how to best work independently in assessing situations.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
There are several strategies that can be used to help a student stay motivated. Based on the child's preferences, I can utilize goal charts in different ways to keep them working toward a specific goal. I also believe that praise can go a long way in motivating a child. Some students need a little bit more to stay motivated, so short or long-term goals could be set where extrinsic rewards could be offered when the child meets a specific goal.
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 would start by looking back at what they specifically need to know in order to master that skill or concept. In many cases, if a student struggles, it is because they have not yet mastered a prerequisite to understanding what they are working on. After determining any areas that need specific attention, I would go back and reteach those areas before moving back to the original skill or concept. If they have mastered previous concepts, and still struggle, I would find another strategy to teach the student the skill or concept. Often times, if a child does not understand a specific idea, they need to see or hear it in a different way. I like to try different styles of teaching, including hands-on approaches as much as possible, so the student can literally get a feel for the concept.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
Reading comprehension is a multi-tiered concept. Many times when a student struggles with reading comprehension, it is due to their independent reading abilities. There are many strategies to aid in comprehension for struggling readers. These could include: stopping at each paragraph/section to find the main idea; determining the structure of the text and why the author presented the information in a specific way; determining the author's purpose in writing a text. As far as answering questions on tests, I have several strategies that could be used to help students set a purpose for their reading so that they can better understand how to answer comprehension questions correctly.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
Finding a student's learning style is imperative in determining which strategies will be most successful for that specific student. Visual learners need to see the information in different ways; auditory learners need to hear it in different ways; kinesthetic learners need to feel or manipulate information. Depending on the subject and the student, there are several specific strategies that could be used.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
To get a student engaged or excited with a subject that they are struggling in, I would try to find ways to engage them in the topic by incorporating real-world examples or information that relate to the subject. For example, a student struggling with adding fractions could be engaged by looking at a recipe and determining how to double or triple it. Making the recipe afterward would be a great reward! Or if a student were struggling with reading comprehension, I would begin by finding texts they are interested in and using those to ask questions. Eventually I would have them read texts they may not be interested in originally, but give them some sort of background information using some sort of technology (videos, etc.) that would gain their interest before diving into the reading part of the lesson. To keep a student engaged, I always enjoy tracking progress, so that they student can see how they are progressing, and to see how their hard work is paying off.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
To ensure that a student understands the material, I would use a variety of assessment techniques. Informally assessing by simply asking questions is a great way to determine whether a student understands or not. Asking a series of questions as a student goes through the processes of answering a question or completing a problem helps to ensure exactly which parts the student understands or may still struggle with. After completing a concept, I may give some sort of assessment where questions similar to those that we have been working on are present. This would show whether the student is mastering the concept or if they still need further remediation in the area of concern.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
Simple praise is my number one go-to when it comes to building confidence. High-fives and "Great job!"s can go a long way. Long term, I love using goal charts, where students can set both short and long-term goals. Each time a student reaches a goal, they can receive some sort of award (whether it be praise, a little trinket, or something they have works long term towards receiving). Having a visual chart to show improvement helps students see specifically how much they have grown as learners, and it's a great way to show how awesome they are!
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
To evaluate a student’s needs, I can use a variety of pre-assessments. Based on the students' struggling subjects, there are several assessments available for use to determine their specific strengths and weaknesses in that subject area. As a classroom teacher, I have access to several great evaluations that would aid in this. I am also able to determine a student's needs as I work with them, based on how they respond or try to solve given problems.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
Simply put, students' needs always come first. If a student needs manipulatives, they can use them. If a student needs music in the background, that can be done. If a student needs to be given examples before trying something on their own, I will provide them. Interest inventories, which I would ideally give to each student the first session that I work with them, would give me a lot of this information- what types of things they like, how they like to work, what strategies they already use, etc. I am here to help my students, so whatever they need to be successful, I will make it happen.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
During a typical tutoring session, I would use the specific materials that the student brings (textbooks, notes, etc.), as well as any materials I find necessary to bring on my own. As a classroom teacher, I have many materials available, such as manipulatives for both reading and math, educational games, assessments, books, and several other materials necessary for a productive lesson. The types of materials I would bring would depend on the subject being taught and what the student would need to succeed based on their own specific needs.