B.A.s in Spanish (with Professional Distinction) and Environmental Studies, University of Oregon
Morgan began mentoring and tutoring in high school where she attended the aspiring educators program. She taught reading lessons in a bilingual kindergarten classroom, attended teaching conferences, and served as a mentor for freshman students by helping them with homework and adjusting to high school.
At the University of Oregon, Morgan developed Spanish tutoring materials and volunteered in the Eugene community. She received a professional distinction in Spanish by completing three internships, including translating legal and scientific documents from English to Spanish for the Environmental Law Alliance Worldwide. After college she gained experience teaching in after school programs, and tutored students in Spain where she was studying as a North American Language and Culture Assistant. When she arrived back in the United States she wanted to continue tutoring and share her passion for the Spanish language.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: University of Oregon - Bachelors, Spanish and Environmental Studies
Guitar, basketball, jewelry making, painting and reading
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
I believe that a key element in learning is visualization. To make what may seem to be obscure perceptible to the learner and help them to extend the boundaries of their learning. For this reason, I feel it is necessary to understand the basic knowledge the student has of the subject and strive to continuously build on this knowledge while providing clear instructions. In my lessons I help students to visualize complex ideas by creating activities where they recall images, pictures, graphs, tables, and patterns in a fun and structured learning environment. My teaching goal is to develop independent learners by instilling a desire to learn. I feel that my role as a teacher is to give students the tools they need to succeed, as well as offer the support, guidance, and enthusiasm needed to develop a sense of motivation needed for mastering a subject. Teaching Spanish enables me to share my passion for cross-cultural awareness and appreciation. Learning Spanish can be personally rewarding and have a great impact on the world at large. It can expand your universe, whether it be for business purposes, travel, or you want to be able to help people. With over 45 million native Spanish speakers in the United States, you can visualize the spark in interest to learn the language.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
In a typical first session with a student I will spend some time talking with the student to build rapport. I want to get a feel of how the student feels about the subject and what they already know.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
Teaching students to plan for time management, note taking, revision, and prioritizing.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
By making the lessons fun and/or reminding them why they want to learn the subject.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
I would find out how the student likes to learn best. Using a variety of teaching methods that are visual, auditory and written can help the student to see the subject in a variety of ways and learn to make connections that will help them to learn. Breaking the subject down into its smaller parts is also a helpful teaching strategy.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
Using outlines, flash cards of key themes and vocabulary, maps, notes, reading in short passages and connecting the paragraphs to the main theme can help a student with reading comprehension.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
It is most helpful to find out the level of the subject the student has already mastered and ask them why they are excited to keep learning the subject. I also like to ask them if they are an auditory, visual or tactile learner. I like to try each of the styles and see what works best for the student.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
I would give them examples of how learning the subject can be used in their life.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
I would give them an opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned. Depending on the subject it could be writing a song, poem, speech or paper. Flashcards and posters are other fun techniques used to see if a student understands the material.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
Helping the student to work on a particularly difficult part of the subject until they have mastered the idea. Then I move onto the next concept of the subject, and help them to master that idea to see how they the connect to the bigger picture.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
I ask them what they want to get out of tutoring. I want to understand what they want to accomplish by the end of the sessions.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
I ask them if the schedule is appropriate for their learning style. Some students learn better in the morning; others learn better at night. I find out if they are auditory, visual or tactile learners. I ask them if they would like the session to be focused on learning the subject for a general understanding or to study for an upcoming test. If they want to be better speakers in Spanish, we would have conversations. If they want to get better at writing in Spanish we would focus on grammar, spelling, vocabulary and accents. I tailor the class according to what they are working to achieve.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
Fill in the blank, handouts, flashcards, games, pictures, YouTube and textbooks.