I graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara with a BS in Environmental Studies with a concentration in ecology. I love nature and the outdoors, and Santa Barbara was the perfect place to expand my knowledge in this area. I also studied abroad in Cape Town, South Africa, which allowed me to expand my limits both academically and culturally. I love teaching, art, being outdoors, and learning new things! I am working towards eventually becoming an art teacher.
University of California-Santa Barbara - Bachelors, Environmental Studies
What is your teaching philosophy?
There is no right or wrong way of teaching. Each student is unique in the way he or she learns, and the most successful way to teach is to understand the student's strengths, weaknesses, and personality.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
Before jumping into academics, I like to first get to know my students. What do they like to do for fun? Do they like school? What is their favorite subject? We might chat for a bit, and then do an assessment to see what my goals for them are and what their goals for themselves are. Then we might do some practice lessons so I can see how they learn and where they need help the most.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
The most important thing to me in helping a student become an independent learner is instilling confidence. I love telling students they are doing a great job, and letting know that they are smart and have the ability to succeed in the subject they are struggling with. The more they believe in themselves, the more likely they are to learn independently.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
If a certain approach is not working and the student still does not understand a skill or concept, I would change up my teaching method and try it from a different angle.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
I like to have my students read a story to themselves once, read the accompanying questions aloud together, and then read the story aloud once more together. While reading for the second time, I will stop the student every few paragraphs or half way through the article and ask them to summarize what is going on. At the end of the article we then discuss things that didn't make sense or words they didn't understand. I also teach skills like active reading and using context clues.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
Instead of telling them the proper step-by-step process, I will walk the students through the lesson by asking them questions. I let them answer instead of giving them the answers. If they are struggling, I will ask them questions that are a bit easier to lead them to the answer.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
Praise, praise, praise! I tell my students what a great job they are doing, especially when they get something right. If they are trying hard but are still not getting something right, I will still point out what they are doing well in their attempts while helping them get the right answer.