I have always wanted to be in education, at least in some sort of capacity. I have tutored and worked with others for a majority of my life, because I have always believed that everyone had the right to learn and become whoever they wanted to be. I do not think that lack of education or belief of ability should affect a person's dreams.
I am currently a teacher in Colorado teaching freshman through seniors in Algebra and Statistics. I have a B.A. in History, a B.S. in Mathematics with a concentration in statistics, and an M.A. in Curriculum and Instruction. I work relentlessly everyday to make sure that my students know that they are cared about and that I believe in them. I also encourage them to take risks and be willing to make mistakes to encourage a growth mindset. I also believe that students should not be reliant on anyone but themselves by the time they leave me.
My main goal as a math teacher is to help students see that not only that math is relevant in their everyday lives, but that it will also help propel them to wherever they want to be.
Colorado State University-Fort Collins - Bachelors, Math with a concentration in Statistics
University of Denver - Masters, Curriculum and Instruction
What is your teaching philosophy?
I believe that every student has the ability and, given the right tools, will learn. I have chosen to become a teacher so that I may be in the unique position to directly impact students.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
First, I would get to know the student and understand their stance on the subject matter as well as their background knowledge- including what previous classes they have taken and how they felt about them. From there, we would go over their syllabus, if there is one, and make a plan of action including goal setting.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
My biggest goal is to have my students become independent learners. I encourage students to self assess as well as talk themselves through a problem and find ways to check themselves. I also encourage students to be willing to make mistakes and at least try something before asking for help. Often using these simple strategies help students tackle a task on their own. When teaching directly, I "think out loud" explaining to them how and why I do each step and what questions I ask myself as I go through the problem.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
Making goals is extremely important for a student to progress and stay motivated. One of my main focuses when working with a student is making sure that they know what their end game is.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
I would try other methods including adding in hands-on activities, showing a different way of solving the problem, creating a visual, turning it into something that they do understand, etc. I also have students talk me through what they have tried so that I can see what the misconception may be.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
I will have them read it aloud and have them dissect the reading by annotating it. In extreme cases, I find other methods of having students get the content, including finding modified texts, an audio version of the text, etc.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
I have found that getting to know students so that I can gear the content more towards their knowledge and interests always is the most successful when working with a new student.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
There are two things that I do to help students get excited and engaged in the content. First and foremost, I try to talk about the content in terms of something that they are interested in. Second, I make sure that the content is accessible. If a problem seems too hard, I help them break it up into smaller, more manageable pieces to help them see that they are able to tackle it and be successful.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
I like to do a lot of formative assessments including having students explain to me their thinking, having them gauge their own understanding, giving them practice problems to show whether or not they understand, or having students draw a picture to show me what the concept is about. With a private tutoring student, I would gauge what is the best method of assessing for their understanding also which will be based off of how they like to produce best.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
I always make sure students are able to do the basic skills needed prior to the content we are working on. Then I show them how they can use that knowledge to tackle the new content.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
I get to know the student. If the student is a child, I talk to their parents. I also just ask the student because often students know, at least partially, what they need.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
It really depends on the student. If I know that a student needs help with reading word problems, we work on annotating text in conjunction with learning the content. If I know that the student needs confidence, I have them work on problems they know they can do and slowly progress into content that is harder.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
I use books, computer programs, the internet, paper, pencil, and whatever other resources outside of the book and the internet that a student may need -- models to help students visualize, for instance.