Since my sophomore year of high school, education has always been a career topic of interest. The idea that an expert of something willingly instructs others to expand their knowledge is incredible. In my opinion, it is the ultimate form of giving back. I want my career to echo those sentiments. I have held multiple roles within the educational realm, and have grown and learned so much with every passing opportunity.
Unlike what most other individuals do in their free time, I have spent every winter weekend from December through March in Vermont over the past nine years instructing Alpine skiing lessons for children (ages 6-14). As a result of this seasonal employment, I became a certified instructor under the Professional Ski Instructors of America (PSIA). Additionally, over the past five years I have been a part time Assistant Coach to the Fordham Preparatory School Crew Team. While these roles are informal, nonconventional types of teaching, they have provided the impetus leading me towards entering the classroom setting.
After my graduation from Fordham University in May of 2014, I worked in media ad sales to become more acclimated with the professional work environment. Needless to say, this was not the line of work I was destined to be in, and after fifteen months I left to pursue my teaching career. Recently, I have been working as a 4th grade Teaching Assistant at an elementary school on Long Island, and have never looked back on my decision. This opportunity has opened up so many doors for me, and allowed my teaching personality to shine through. While I have learned a great deal over the past year, I recognize that I still have elements to improve on and grow.
Looking forward, I want to use my knowledge of the Spanish language and its culture to educate the younger generation. I have been studying Spanish for ten years now, in addition to living in Sevilla, Spain for four months. Given my aforementioned background, I feel that I am qualified to instruct Spanish through reading comprehension and in its written and spoken form. Additionally, I am very familiar with a variety of Math sub-subjects, and anything involving the English language (reading comprehension, writing, grammar, etc.).
Undergraduate Degree: Fordham University - Bachelors, Spanish Language and Literature
ACT English: 30
ACT Math: 32
Traveling. Sports (Rowing, Running, Biking, Skiing), Coaching, Cooking, Going to the beach. Watching football.
1st Grade Math
1st Grade Reading
1st Grade Writing
2nd Grade Math
2nd Grade Reading
2nd Grade Writing
3rd Grade Math
3rd Grade Reading
3rd Grade Science
3rd Grade Writing
4th Grade Science
5th Grade Math
5th Grade Reading
5th Grade Science
5th Grade Writing
ACCUPLACER Sentence Skills
Elementary School Math
Elementary School Reading
Elementary School Science
Elementary School Writing
SAT Subject Test in Spanish with Listening
What is your teaching philosophy?
I am a strong believer of learning through practice. While there must be some kind of formal groundwork established before any practical learning can take place, practice makes perfect. In doing this, the student can hear or view the information, interpret it through their own filter, and then evaluate it.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
I would begin any first session with brief introductions and an open Q&A. It is important for the tutor to know the student and their strengths/weaknesses, as well as the student to learn about their tutor. Once the routine introduction is complete, I would give a brief overview of the subject at hand and see where the student may be finding difficulties.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
The best way to make an independent learner is to give the student the opportunity to re-explain material. If they are able to express the material in a different fashion that it was originally taught, they are proving enhanced knowledge and independent learning.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
The best way to keep a student motivated is by offering constant, positive reinforcement. Struggling students love being told that they understand something. Avoiding negativity and discouragement is somewhat obvious, but should always be avoided.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
If the student were struggling to understand a concept, I would simply rephrase it in a way to help them comprehend. This can be through actually changing words around, or providing analogies that the individual could relate to. This gives them a better insight to the topic.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
The easiest way to aid students struggling with reading comprehension is through simplification. By breaking a passage up into segments, it may be easier to understand the overall reading. Additionally, if the reading comprehension is followed by a set of questions, it may be helpful to analyze the questions given and then read through the passage; this will guide the reader towards the purpose of the lesson.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
The best way to get a student excited about a subject they struggle with is to make the content relatable in some way. If the student can make a real life connection to the subject being studied, they will have an easier time comprehending and learning it. Also, depending on level, you could incorporate games or fun activities into the lesson.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
One technique to ensure comprehension would be re-teaching. I want to know that the student can convey the topic on his own, so I would have he or she "teach" the material to me in their own words. Also, another method would simply be to provide an informal assessment of the lesson given.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
Gradual development of the topic could help build a student's confidence. This can follow the form of starting with slightly easier material and then working into more complex discussions. It is important that the student feels comfort in some material before entering into uncharted topics.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
The best way to evaluate a student's needs would be by giving them a general assessment. By testing them on a wide range of materials and formats, the tutor could see where improvement is needed. Also, going to the source (the student or parents) could be an insightful way into selecting a focus.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
In my experience, the most successful strategies root from a preliminary assessment. This gives the tutor an idea of where the student stands academically, but also gives the student an idea of the tutor's teaching style.