I have been teaching at the college level since 1990. I have taught courses in English, History, and Humanities. I have taught at schools all over the country, and at both single sex and co-ed institutions. I have also worked as Director of a college Writing Studio.
Recently I have begun working with middle and high school aged students who are homeschooled--teaching essay writing, literature, and history online or through homeschool co-ops.
I also have experience with test prep, including the SAT/ACT and entrance exams for post-college study.
Undergraduate Degree: Worcester State College - Bachelors, English and History
Graduate Degree: University of Connecticut - Masters, Medieval Studies
cooking, reading, TV, movies, knitting
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
Finding a way to connect that topic to something the student is already interested in can be helpful. For example, if a student loves the Harry Potter books, showing what that series took from early literature might help make a connection to Medieval or Renaissance works.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
Asking a student to explain a concept to me. If he or she can "teach" me about it, then understanding has probably been achieved.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
Highlighting what a student already knows or showing how a student already uses these skills without realizing it.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
Asking where and how a student struggles, and what topics seem particularly problematic. Self-diagnosis is often helpful, but then I would follow through with some questions of my own to make sure.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
Find out a little about the student. Ask about the class, the assignment, and the time frame that the student has to work with. Go over some general introductory things to get a sense of where he or she is and what is needed.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
Teach the student the skills to figure things out on his or her own--not simply provide the answers.