I have been teaching the English language to students from age 10 to 60 for over 20 years. My students include young learners, teenagers, university aged students and professionals. I have taught economists, lawyers, doctors, police officers, nurses, businesswomen and men, as well as nuns, athletes and computer scientists.
Teaching is a job and a mission to me; my goal is to help students reach their personal goals, using materials and methods that make the 'journey' to success an interesting and sometimes even enjoyable experience.
It would be a pleasure to help you in your search for improvement and greater skills.
Undergraduate Degree: New York University - Bachelors, History
Graduate Degree: The Open University, United Kingdom - Masters, Education
Walking/hiking, swimming, movies, music
What is your teaching philosophy?
My teaching philosophy is simple: help learners increase their knowledge by providing interesting, clear and memorable lessons. My lessons are interactive, that is, students participate in their own learning, and whenever possible, enjoy the process as they move forward.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
The first step is to understand my student’s objectives. When the goals are set, we then plan, step by step, how to achieve those aims. That way, the student and the tutor know what their responsibilities include, this is a joint effort, a question of teamwork between student and tutor. After that, we discuss the student's strengths and weaknesses. Finally, we do a brief evaluation to make everything 100% clear.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
I can help a student to become an independent learner by building their confidence, providing expertise in the subject area and expecting them to work at reaching their goals.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
Motivation is very personal. A tutor can build confidence and enthusiasm by being enthusiastic and interesting. A student needs to be open and willing to try.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept I would find a different way to explain it. There is always another way to look at something.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
Students need to create a vocabulary book, that is, a notebook that has words grouped in categories, not in alphabetical order. They need to remember vocabulary in a context to help them improve their reading comprehension.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
Good strategies include interactive lessons in which students participate every step of the way; helping students see their strengths and working on the areas that are more difficult and lastly, avoiding criticism or negativity.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
Students need to bring a certain amount of interest to what they are doing. However providing interesting materials from a variety of sources such as books, newspapers, films and the internet, I help my student to be engaged when they are having difficulties.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
I would ask a lot of comprehension "check" questions, from the beginning to the end of the lesson.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
Confidence building comes with time; we review a bit from the previous lesson at the start of every class. I remind students' of where they began to illustrate the progress they have made.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
Evaluating a student's needs starts at the beginning with a quiz. In addition the student communicates their strengths and weaknesses from the beginning to help me build a program suited to their needs.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
I attempt to use materials that are suited to the individual student. For example, if a student is interested in sports but has problems with grammar, we learn about grammar through an article about a famous athlete.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
My choice of materials depends on the student. Books, films and the internet can all be used during my sessions.