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Margaret

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I am a language arts teacher in every sense of the term!

To tell you a little about my professional life, I have been working in Seoul as an English teacher for the past 5 years. I've taught in middle school, high school, and university positions but have most recently been working in a gifted school for English-fluent students looking to study advanced language arts concepts. I obtained my bachelor's in English literature and my master's in secondary English education from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. I have recently relocated to the United States and am anxious to continue my teaching career.

My enthusiasm for teaching is boundless. My aim is to promote global citizenship and a broader understanding of our post-technological revolution world through bettering understanding of the English language, its contextual intricacies, and global communication. I have worked hard to build holistic environments which encourage questioning, student-created content, and a consistent focus on language processing.

Now, on a more casual note, I love traveling and have done it extensively throughout North America, Asia, and Europe. I also love to bake, am extremely extroverted, and have been trained as a choral singer since I was 7. I like to think of myself as laid-back, but professional and highly driven. I find myself comfortable in almost every situation I find myself in!

I look forward to speaking with you further about how I can best help you reach your goals!

Margaret’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: The University of Tennessee - Bachelors, English Literature (minors in Africana Studies, Cinema Studies, & Secondary Education)

Graduate Degree: The University of Tennessee - Masters, Secondary English Education

Hobbies

Classically trained singer, art lover, personable extrovert, world traveller

Tutoring Subjects

10th Grade Reading

10th Grade Writing

11th Grade Reading

11th Grade Writing

12th Grade Reading

12th Grade Writing

1st Grade Reading

1st Grade Writing

2nd Grade Reading

2nd Grade Writing

3rd Grade Reading

3rd Grade Writing

4th Grade Reading

4th Grade Writing

5th Grade Reading

5th Grade Writing

6th Grade Reading

6th Grade Writing

7th Grade Reading

7th Grade Writing

8th Grade Reading

8th Grade Writing

9th Grade Reading

9th Grade Writing

ACT English

ACT Reading

ACT Writing

Adult Literacy

American Literature

AP English Literature and Composition

AP United States History

AP US History

College English

College Essays

College Level American Literature

Comparative Literature

Elementary School Reading

Elementary School Writing

English

English Grammar and Syntax

ESL/ELL

Essay Editing

Expository Writing

Gifted

GRE Analytical Writing

High School English

High School Level American Literature

High School Writing

Homework Support

HSPT Language Skills Prep

HSPT Reading Prep

HSPT Verbal Prep

Literature

Middle School Reading

Middle School Writing

Other

Persuasive Writing

PSAT Writing Skills

Public Speaking

Reading

SAT Reading

SAT Subject Test in Literature

SAT Subject Tests Prep

SAT Writing and Language

Shakespeare

Study Skills

Study Skills and Organization

Summer

Test Prep

TOEFL Prep

World Literature

Writing


Q & A

What is your teaching philosophy?

I believe that a teaching philosophy is organic. It grows and is shaped by the institutions and students within which a teacher functions. For me, nothing has shaped my philosophy more than the previous year of teaching gifted students in Seoul, South Korea. This experience showed me that my ultimate goals are fostering globalized citizenship through language arts and helping students meet the challenges of the technology generation. Our students belong to the technology generation. They utilize technology constantly throughout their days to the benefit of both their educational and mental development. They do not see technology as the source of idleness which many of their predecessors have; they see it as a tool to be manipulated and experienced in order to improve their lives and the world. My classrooms push to harness this power. Technology has led to a new generation of self-directed learners, and it’s the teacher’s job to show them the tools to best facilitate their experiences. By displaying proper, mature, and advanced technological usage, a teacher shapes their students to do the same. A secondary effect of the technology generation has been the necessity for global citizenship. Students must be shown how their mastery and manipulation of the English language, its literatures, and its means for communication all open doors for them on an international scale. All of these ideals are, in my mind, best summarized through the educational philosophy of connectivism. My classrooms seek to create global citizenship through the discussion of current events, examination of international literatures, and humanities-based research writing topics. All of this then translates to my overall teaching style. I encourage my students to use all of the tools at their disposal to keep them organized and ever-ready for whatever challenges they may face: this is where the use of technology comes in very handy. My style may seem strict and demanding at first, but I push my students because I am aware of their exact capabilities. I will never ask them for more than they are capable of giving, but they may not know exactly how capable they are until they are pushed. After a class has learned their expectations and has begun fulfilling them, that is when I begin to loosen and have more fun with my students. Pupils who have had me for a while know me to be relaxed and fun in the classroom. Within my classroom, I practice social constructivism and the control theory of motivation. Students are encouraged to see how increased knowledge of language arts and its components will assist them in their future and enable them to become better people, citizens, and lifelong learners. Individual student motivations as well as cognitive strengths and weaknesses are taken into account when setting curricula. The teacher is the facilitator of learning, giving students the tools that they need in order to complete the tasks on their own. Students learn that they are the only people responsible for their actions and must take control of their learning in order to see improvement. Students must feel themselves improving rather than just seeing improvement on a number and/or letter scale. However, a teacher’s philosophy must never be set in stone. They must grow with their students, their careers, and society. It is my hope that I never tell myself, “This is the way things need to be done.” It is when a teacher resigns themselves to routine that they become ineffectual. Half the joy I receive from being a teacher is due to the lessons I learn. I hope to continue to grow as an instructor and adapt to new challenges for many years to come.

What might you do in a typical first session with a student?

The first session with a student should be primarily focused on assessing the student's needs and capabilities. The beginning of the session should be more concerned with the former. By making the first part of the session be about the student's specific academic goals as well as attempting to find out about their personality and internal motivations, the teacher gains invaluable information about how to approach future sessions. The student also benefits from the focus being on them from the beginning, as it shows them the teacher's concern and desire to see the student improve in the areas *they* feel are important, not just what the teacher feels are important. The assessment portion of the first meeting should be informal. The teacher should, according to the student's academic goals, arrange a series of questions at a gradually increasing difficulty. It's more to find the basic borders of comprehension rather than compiling formal data. At the end of the session, the teacher should review the specific goals the student expressed at the beginning of the session and give an informal outline of how the sessions will be conducted.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

By accessing their innate desire to learn. In my experiences, this has been best achieved through the use of individual student motivations: show the student the specific ways in which learning the material will benefit their life and focus instructions on areas of student interest. Adapt instruction to the individual student, and you'll always be surprised by what you find drives them.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

Sessions should not be the same thing every time. The student will become bored if they have an hour of doing the same thing week after week. It's best to vary instructional goals week to week. In a writing class, have one week focusing on grammar, the next on paragraph construction, then on outlining, and so forth. You can also help a student stay motivated by showing them that, even if it's not showing in the overall score, they are actually making steady improvement. Show them how they have improved in formerly weak areas and how to shift their focus in order to improve in currently weak areas.

If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?

I would break it down for them to its smallest pieces. A lot of student difficulty with concepts comes from them thinking the concept is too big for them to understand. The way around this is to show them all of the small steps they can take in order to lead them to the big answer.

How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?

I typically do a variety of things depending on the genre of the reading. If we're speaking specifically about a fictional, character-driven reading, I will tell them to first write down the names of all the characters and then draw lines of relationship between them. A lot of students have difficulty decoding this, especially if the names are not names they typically encounter in their own lives. After doing that, I'd have students fill out a timeline of the important events. Finally, I'd have them utilize inference and synthesis in order to see why those events occurred. Finally, we'd examine the effect of the events on theme and the effect of the theme on the development of the characters.

What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?

Developing trust, respect, and expectations from the first minute has always worked best for me. By setting clear guidelines as to how the sessions will be run and what they will be expected to complete before said sessions, it will help them to better adjust to your individual teaching style. The student should, no matter their age, see you as a person they can trust to show them the right path in order to meet their education goals. From this trust, they will begin to respect your authority as an educator as well as your knowledge of your area.

How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?

By showing them how that area relates to something they are interested in. If the student loves science, but struggles with English, it's easy to refocus all reading materials and writing to science-focused topics. You can then use metacognitive techniques to show them exactly why they find those materials interesting and then show them how they can use those same techniques when dealing with topics they struggle with.

What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?

I prefer a combination of informal and formal assessment. If a student is truly understanding the material, it should be very clear during simple conversations with the student while breaking materials down. You may then utilize a more formal assessment so they can see how they will be able to apply their knowledge in school or in future tests. Since this is a tutoring environment, the test assessment should be gone over in detail with the student, so they can see clearly which types of questions they are excelling at and which types they are struggling with.

How do you evaluate a student's needs?

First and foremost, through conversation with the student. Talk to them about the areas in which they feel they are struggling as well as which areas they feel they are excelling. By learning where they are excelling, you can figure out which methods will best assist them in the areas they are struggling with. Specific assessment based around very targeted skills will also help provide numerical analysis.