I believe that all students have an intrinsic intelligence that can be tapped by a teacher who is the right "fit". In my 18 years of teaching at the college level, I have inspired many students with a broad range of abilities and language challenges. One of my primary goals initially is to make the student feel comfortable as I simultaneously assess his or her strengths. Then, I create lessons according to a student's needs. For grammar and punctuation, I dispel fears associated with confusing terminology by presenting easy-to-understand, basic rules. No matter what the student's level is, there is always room for positive reinforcement and improvement. My ability to communicate in a clear, patient, and encouraging manner creates a learning environment of trust and caring.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: University of New Hampshire-Main Campus - Bachelors, English
gardening, hiking, biking
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
My teaching philosophy is to accentuate the positive and work on strengths, while gently suggesting where improvements can be made.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
I would ask the student to share 5 or more of his or her challenges with writing and English. I follow up with the list at the end of sessions. That way, a student can track progress.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
Encouragement and instilling confidence in the student. I would stress that his or her thoughts are valuable and never "wrong."
How would you help a student stay motivated?
For a student to stay motivated, a one-on-one conference is essential. That meeting forms a relationship and a sense of accountability.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
I would urge the student to meet with me at a designated time and place. Depending on the subject matter, I would also recommend the Writing Center.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
For reading comprehension, I stress journal writing, mind mapping, clusters, webs, graphs, art, or any method the student is comfortable with to retain and to comprehend.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
Initial conferencing, suggestions for improvement, positive reinforcement, and follow-up conferences to track progress.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
I would suggest the student break the subject into small segments so that it might not seem so overwhelming. Also, breaking up long assignments into smaller tasks would help. Taking notes is an essential and invaluable tool to retain difficult or unfamiliar information
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
I use repetition of material and reinforcement in a variety of ways. For instance, if I am instructing punctuation, I might provide a sentence one day and ask for correction; another day, the student would have to compose the sentence and provide the punctuation. Then, I might follow up with a template that presents the same punctuation issue in a different format.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
I try to approach a subject from many different vantage points. For instance, a chapter opening that might be accompanied by a painting is a perfect opportunity to bring in the importance of art as expression and to connect it to the readings. Similarly, I bring in historical and biographical context into readings.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
Over time and with extensive writing. Students have so many hidden abilities and talents - it takes time to really assess and time to improve as well.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
First, I make positive comments and stress strengths. Then, I will make suggestions for improvements and goals for the next session.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
For a writing session, I would bring a grammar and punctuation manual. Initially, I would work on simple constructions of sentences to assess the strengths and weaknesses of the student. I might bring a short essay and have the student summarize the essay.