I believe that the main goal of teaching is to promote learning while simultaneously creating a comfortable, yet stimulating and motivating environment that encourages the students to discuss new ideas and concepts. In addition to creating a stimulating and comfortable learning environment, I also understand that students benefit most from dynamic teaching methods and techniques. I will accommodate to the students using different teaching styles and methods that range from lecture based lessons, interactive discussions and kinesthetic approaches to learning. I believe that it is important to have a structured learning routine, but at the same time, it is imperative to try a variety of approaches to the material, as a way to reach out to as many students as possible. My goal as an instructor is to emphasize diverse approaches to learning, while simultaneously working with students individually to meet their personal and academic goals.
Moreover, my teaching philosophy focuses on a collaborative learning approach. I implement a classroom and learning environment based on student input and open collaboration that contributes to the curriculum and grading criteria of the class. In the classes that I taught at the University of Florida, I used group activities where the students not only discussed classroom topics such as homework and basic grammar concepts in French, but I also emphasize the discussion of current events in the United States and France, but also globally. I prefer to use activities that force the students to think critically about the world outside of the classroom and the textbook, while simultaneously using their language skills to communicate their beliefs and ideas. In extension to my teaching philosophy, I also believe that it is important to continue to learn, grow and constantly develop and strive for more as a teacher. I believe that the students model their teacher’s learning habits and behaviors and as a result, I strive to communicate my passion and interest in the French language and culture. If the instructor does not show an interest or passion for the material and for learning, the students will be less likely to be motivated to learn and succeed. Additionally, I also make sure that I am updated and knowledgeable of the current formal learning and teaching theories, so that I am able to teach the best classes possible.
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
I believe that the main objective of teaching is not only to foster learning and create a stimulating learning environment, but to also instill a passion for learning, creativity and critical thinking skills within the students. In order to motivate this passion and interest for learning, I strive to create a classroom that is a comfortable environment for problem solving, as well as critical and abstract thinking skills.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
Before the first session, I will call my client to discuss their level of French, as well as their goals and subjects that they would like to work on. During our first meeting, we will start doing level appropriate activities and working toward the client's goals.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
I encourage students to find a working environment that meets their needs, as well as tools and resources that accommodate to their individual learning style.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
I remind students that learning and mastering material is a process. It is better to study in smaller, more manageable amounts, instead of larger, and potentially stressful amounts of material.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
I would ask them directly which areas are the most difficult and break them down or create individually based lesson plans to accommodate the student.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
I encourage the student to read the main points of the text first, to get the general idea, and then go through and read more detailed information. This way the text is more manageable and the student has more context clues within the text.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
I ask directly what they would like to learn and we discuss their individual preferences and things that help the student succeed.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
In Foreign Language Studies, the material can, at times, seem dry and irrelevant. To tackle this obstacle, and better engage students, I often use other resources outside of the textbook, such as music, films, blogs, and other forms of authentic media.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
Short comprehension assignments/quizzes at the end of every lesson. The student can take home each assignment/quiz, after we have corrected it and use it to study before the next lesson.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
Use resources and materials that interest the student, in order to keep them motivated and interested in the subject.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
I keep a log of each tutoring session and track each student's individual progress.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
I ask the student directly and/or plan lessons and work according to their progress and the activities and lessons that work best for each student.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
Textbooks, materials that I have prepared, authentic material such as books, magazines, newspapers, music, media, film and occasionally games.