Hello! My name is Hannah. I moved to Madison from New York in January this year (2016).
I hold an BA in Global Studies from LIU Global, and my undergraduate thesis was on the role of play and games in learning. My approach to teaching is strongly informed by the importance of kindling our curiosities and passion for the subjects we focus on. A lot of my experience as a student has been in environments that emphasize experiential learning. The way I see it, language learning is about learning a new form of expression, and cultivating a comfort and confidence with it.
This can be geared towards specific environments. I am particularly experienced in working 1-on-1 or with small groups to identify individual interests and needs, defining at least one clear goal for the each lesson, and a general goal to work towards with students. That goal can be a personal goal, a professional or practical goal, or something in between.
I have taught classes and tutored formally and informally in a variety of different settings, including diverse cultural settings; anywhere from tutoring English privately in Thailand, or providing Spanish lessons for homeschooling students, to providing homework help and support in time management for my younger brother. I tend to use games, movies, music and interactive tools in lessons, combined with worksheets and quizzes where I see them to be appropriate. I strongly encourage students to find fun ways to benefit from daily practice(20 minutes a day over 1-2 hours once a week).
I look forward to being a part of your learning process!
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
Curiosity driven learning. Create an individualized structure for each learner. Start by asking questions.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
Begin to develop a sense of collaboration- start by getting on the same page about desired learning strategies and goals!
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
Kindle inner confidence and curiosity, and facilitate the discovery of how our subject of study can be put into practice in a way that matches with the student’s life goals. Work together to create individualized learning tools!
How would you help a student stay motivated?
Get creative! Encourage them- show them how they are improving. This can be done through age and personality appropriate games and challenges, as well as sharing content that the student can relate to, and use or develop on a regular basis. This could be music, books and movies, or long-term challenges. Homework that incorporates other interests. How can a student express passions and interests using learning materials?
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
Have a conversation about it. Figure out what's difficult, what's frustrating, what is clear and what is unclear, and what is keeping the student from giving up? Then finding out how we can use that to our advantage.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
I have struggled with reading comprehension. I still do sometimes. But I enjoy reading and think it is important and useful. I have an ever-expanding box of tools to help with that, and a large capacity for patient support and encouragement.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
Ideally the student and I get to a point where the student feels comfortable and invited to express a lack of understanding. I like short and focused worksheets and quizzes, as well as conversation, as a way to check in from time to time. This can also be a great way to build confidence and show students what they already know.