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Since I graduated from UT Austin in 1988, I have realized that a teacher isn't what I do, it is what I am. Every person has the right to learn and understand what is being presented to them. If you don't understand it, my job is to find a way to bring it to you. By working together, I hope you can find the joy of mathematics that I have found.

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Celeste’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: The University of Texas at Austin - Bachelors, Education

Graduate Degree: The University of Texas at Arlington - Current Grad Student, Curriculum and Instruction: Mathematics


Reading, music, hiking, scuba diving, travel.

Q & A

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

I would introduce myself, ask the student what they are struggling with, find out the last time they felt success, and identify the method of learning that works best for them. I would then help the student identify the main concept of the lesson and derive a method of solution that is accurate and personalized.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

You can give a student the tools to ask questions for themselves to determine their next steps and take risks. Confidence and success lead students to take greater risks and try harder problems.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

I believe the best motivator is success and personal connection. Everyone wants to do well and if they know you are in their corner, they want to show you how far they have come.

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

Try another method and show the student that there is a way to learn the concept; we just haven't found it yet.

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

I have had several students with reading difficulty. I encourage them to use all tools available to them by IEP or 504 plan because if they have reading comprehension difficulties by high school, they are usually given accommodations. For those who do not have accommodations, I will help them work through the word problems, working through context.

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

Building rapport and building confidence. I know that students who have reached the point of needing a tutor have felt some measure of failure and they need encouragement and confidence.

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

Through pride, enthusiasm, and problems that will build confidence.

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

Asking the student to explain their thought process and explaining why they think that. This shows a level of conceptual understanding that simply solving a problem does not.

How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?

Success and praise. Students need to feel success to crave success.

How do you evaluate a student's needs?

Through questioning and pre-assessments. Students will often have work they have struggled with and by seeing their work, I can analyze their errors.

How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?

Tutoring is student driven. If the student is not understanding then the lesson needs to be revisited in a different way. If the student quickly grasps the concepts, then the lesson needs to delve deeper so that the time is not wasted.

What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?

My own created materials, student homework, textbook libraries, dry erase boards, occasionally online materials.

What is your teaching philosophy?

If a student hasn't learned, then teaching hasn't occurred.

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