As a 5th and 6th grade teacher for 12 years, I love building relationships with students and their families. We even had class potlucks at my family's home every year! Students should have every opportunity to learn skills and content in a way that brings true understanding. These "aha" moments are priceless and bring confidence. I believe the best learning occurs when the student is learning just ahead of their level of understanding. By becoming comfortable making mistakes and learning from them, a student can move from proving they know to wondering and curiosity. This creates a life-long learner!
I love helping students learn the backstory and interesting facts behind the topic they are studying. This really brings the material to life and make learning fun. As a National Board Certified Teacher, my focus is constantly on student learning. By watching how a student learns, I am able to help them when they come across a challenge. My students would always ask me what subject was my favorite. What an incredibly difficult question! I love connecting students with the stories they are reading. I love breaking down difficult math skills in a way that students understand. I love the depth of learning within science. I love the fascinating stories found in history.
I'm excited to be on this journey with you! What are your goals? Your passions? I can't wait to get started helping you get there!
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: Randolph College - Bachelors, Psychology
Graduate Degree: Capella University - PHD, Educational Leadership and Management
Volunteering with a nonprofit that assists homeless families, Traveling, Crafting, Playing with my children and cats
Elementary School Math
High School English
Study Skills and Organization
What is your teaching philosophy?
Humans are constantly learning through formal and informal methods. Students are problem-solvers and communicators with individual strengths. By viewing a learner through their strengths, I can best help them through challenges.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
The first session with a student will be spent getting to know the student. What are their reasons for wanting a tutor? What are they hoping to get out of their time with me? What are their strengths in learning? What are their passions in life? What are their hopes for their future? How do they learn best?
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
A student becomes an independent learner when they know how they learn best and can use those skills when they come across a challenge. I can help them by increasing their skills in executive functioning (organizational skills, study skills, logical thinking). I can also help them with metacognitive skills - thinking about their thinking.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
I believe the best motivation comes from within. That being said, a strong relationship between two people can be highly motivating. By taking a real interest in students' lives, I have found that they respond by working hard.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
If we have been going at a skill or concept from one learning modality - say verbal- we may switch to another modality. We also may need to back up and look at the building blocks that are making up the skill or concept that we are working on. There may be a building block that needs to be addressed before moving on.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
One way to help a student struggling with comprehension is to help the student identify reading strategies and when they are using them. By working with passages just slightly under their reading level, they can identify those strategies. Then when moving up a reading level, I would choose a passage with content that the student connects with so they have background knowledge and can focus on the reading strategies they are using.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
When starting with a student, I find it good to find materials that the student connects with and is successful in. This way, I can see how the student works and their best learning strategies.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
I love making analogies and helping build background knowledge in these instances. In general, students get excited when learning little known facts or stories about the topic they are studying. Finding fun games that relate to the topic are helpful as well.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
Some techniques to make sure the student understands the material are having them tell me what they have learned, giving a similar problem to solve, having me solve a problem incorrectly and the student tells me what I did wrong and how to fix it.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
Generally, a student knows a LOT about a topic. However, they focus on what they don't know or are not getting correct. So, it's easy to take a step back and look at how far they have come and what they already know. The only way to truly build confidence is to accomplish a skill or knowledge around a concept. So by breaking skills and concepts down into meaningful parts to build from, confidence can grow!
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
I evaluate student's needs based on past work and verbal questioning. This can help me get a starting point. Then I can have the student solve some problems at various skill levels while having them talk aloud about their thinking. The parent will also have information to share that will be helpful.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
Over the course of 12 years of teaching, I have developed quite a toolbox of teaching methods to pull from. I've had enough experience to see patterns in students' learning and can change modalities, topics, strategies, and language to meet the student where they are and move them forward.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
I use paper/pencil, verbal explanations, and online tools such as videos and games to help during sessions.