I have been working as a fourth grade teacher for the past 7 years. Specifically, I teach math, science and social studies in a block format. I have also taught second grade for a year and served as a school counselor at the elementary and middle school levels for 13 years. I earned my teaching certificate from Whitworth University. My Bachelor of Arts in Applied Psychology and my Master of Science in Psychology: School Counseling were both obtained at Eastern Washington University. I am a lifelong learner and very compassionate to the needs of others especially those who want to learn but experience difficulty in the learning process. I raised a son who is currently attending college and playing basketball on the college team. I spent many years helping my son's basketball teams in various ways. I was a team mom. I now look forward to helping more children learn during the evenings and weekends.
Education & Certification
Graduate Degree: Eastern Washington University - Masters, School Counseling
Undergraduate Degree: Eastern Washington University - Bachelors, Teaching Certificate - Elementary Education
Running, Yoga, playing with my dog
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
I believe all students can learn. I know some students need different approaches and more exposure to material. I constantly seek to find strategies to work with the unique learning style of each person.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
I will share about myself, my interests and hobbies. I will also assess the needs of the learner and inquire about the student's learning style.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
Students are more likely to engage in independent learning when they feel confident with their skills. I continue to work with students until he/she indicated that he/she is feeling confident to work independently.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
Students need incentives to stay motivated. I set up small goals. I reach those goals with my students. Then we set longer term goals. I also provide verbal and non-verbal praise and recognition for hard work and accomplishments.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
I break the problem down into smaller chunks. I find the smallest or most basic idea the student understands. Then I start to build from that level.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
There are some different factors that could be interfering with reading comprehension. I must assess if the student is spending too much time decoding material, or if the student is losing focus on the text. If the student is experiencing difficulty decoding, we need to read text at a lower level and work on phonics, decoding, and word patterns. If the student is losing focus, we will spend time using graphic organizers to help make sense of the text.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
Building a relationship with a student is the most crucial aspect of helping someone learn. Students are more likely to want to learn if they feel another person feels they are capable and worthy of learning.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
I help students engage in subjects by providing real life examples when we need to know that material. For example, I use ideas from different sports when I'm talking about multiplying numbers.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
When students can demonstrate the skills independently, I know they understand the material.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
I build a student's confidence by having him/ her practice the skill until he or she demonstrates accuracy, smiles and tells me it is not necessary to do any more problems.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
I have been teaching long enough to know basic skills in math k-6. I can easily ask a student different questions to see at what level the student is working at in math. In reading, I can have a student read different passages at different levels of reading difficulty.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
I adapt to the needs of the student by teaching at the proper level of English my student speaks. I adapt to the student's level of functioning and academic level in the subject I am helping the student learn. Listening and showing empathy to my students allows me to join the student at his/her social/emotional and academic level.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
I have books that I have acquired and an education store in my town.