I spent many years in Europe learning languages and experiencing life from different perspectives. I love teaching and have never had any problem sharing my enthusiasm for language with my students.
I have just retired from the Bozeman School District in Montana where I taught English as a Second Language in grades K-12 for the past 26 years. Though it was an incredibly rewarding job in a smaller public school system, I made the decision to return home to Arizona to embark on a new chapter of my life.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: University of Arizona - Bachelors, French
Graduate Degree: Indiana University-Bloomington - Masters, ESL
biking, hiking, horseback riding, zumba
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
I believe learning language should be a fun, interactive, and authentic experience. The key is to build a rapport and respect with the students.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
Spend time getting to know them and their needs.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
Asking them to take the initiative in the learning process.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
Instill enthusiasm for the subject.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
I would go back to the beginning and try to tease out where the problem is, and then try to explain it in different ways depending on what kind of learner they are.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
Background knowledge is very important for understanding text. I put the texts in context and make sure the vocabulary is understandable. Sentence structure and transitions are discussed and organization.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
Developing a rapport and putting them at ease so that they stop feeling that the task is too difficult.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
I would share how it has helped me in life and give good examples that are exciting and interesting and involve more than textbooks.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
I would use formative assessments.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
Making sure that the student experiences more success than failure.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
By making sure I understand the task the student has to accomplish and what part it plays in the big picture. This might require talking to the teacher.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
I sort out what kind of learner the student is. Focus on what approaches are most successful in achieving understanding.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
I bring in many of my own materials and make use of videos and tutorials online.