My educational background includes a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish with an emphasis in Hispanic intellectual history and interdisciplinary studies; additionally I have a double minor in English and Italian. I worked as a teaching assistant for four years for both Spanish and Italian undergraduate courses wherein I taught weekly laboratory classes. I have the experience in teaching large groups of people with varied proficiency levels, which has allowed me to develop a more comprehensive teaching skillset. Likewise, I have experience in tutoring smaller groups, including one-on-one sessions with students. I am dedicated to helping students strengthen their skills in grammar, composition, vocabulary, and conversation.
Texas A & M University-College Station - Bachelors, Spanish
What is your teaching philosophy?
I am a dedicated proponent of adaptability. Everyone has a different learning style, and it’s my job as a tutor to present the material in the best way possible for the individual student. You have to accommodate different learning styles and create an atmosphere that fosters learning. Teaching is not just delivering material; students spend a lot of time receiving information and trying to memorize it before actually understanding it. I like to have students practice what they’re learning so that they build confidence. Encouraging a student to embrace the input and output aspects of learning will allow them to develop a holistic understanding of the material.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
A first session will depend on the goals and proficiency level of the student. If someone is enrolled in a course, we can use what he or she is currently covering in class as a starting point. We will also assess the student’s current weaknesses and strengths so that I can adapt the tutoring to the student's specific needs. For example, a Spanish student that comes with a French background may struggle with pronunciation but understand the concepts of verb tenses and conjugations. For someone who is not enrolled in a course but is preparing for a placement test or looking to improve their Spanish skills, I can provide a lesson divided into different modules that include oral exercises, listening, writing, and I like to included dictations for language learning as well, because it helps to train the ear. Within all these modules, we can work together, I can offer corrections, go over grammar points, and practice pronunciation with the student.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
An important part of tutoring is helping the student build their own set of tools to analyze and interpret information. I like to teach not just content but also strategy to students so that they can become independent learners.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
A lot of times lack of motivation has to do with lack of confidence. If a student feels like they're not getting it, they might not feel much motivation to improve. It may be that I need to adjust the way I'm presenting the material, and in a lot of instances, the student may have missed something early on that is preventing them from understanding the material. If you review earlier material, you can help fill any gaps they may have and boost their confidence.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
My goal is always to make sure a student understands a concept and has acquired the skills necessary for studying on their own. I will often have students explain concepts to me so I can determine if we need to review or clarify anything. We will also go over tons of examples so the student has reference for later studying on their own.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
I first make sure that a student is in the habit of reading the instructions and understands what they are supposed to be looking for when they read. Also reading the first and last sentence of a passage will help the student form a brief summary of what they will be reading.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
It's very helpful to look over past assignments and their own notes to identify where they succeed and where they need extra attention. Looking at how they take notes will also help to determine if they are misinterpreting information or need a better note-taking strategy. It's also helpful to find out what the student feels confident about and what concepts they feel are confusing.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
In my experience, students tend to get more engaged and excited once they realize that they are capable of understanding and excelling in the material. It's also fun to incorporate their hobbies and interests in the material to make it more relatable.