I love teaching and tutoring. I love it so much that I've done it now for 35 years. I have no intention of stopping anytime soon! My background includes teaching and online tutoring in ESL, professional and technical writing, remedial English, English grammar, and Spanish. I have worked with students of all ages, ranging from those in upper middle school through those in graduate school.
The online environment is so interesting and there is always something new to learn. The joy of tutoring in this environment is that it is possible to meet people from many different time zones and life situations, while doing what I most love to do: teaching and tutoring.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: Washington State University - Bachelors, French
Graduate Degree: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign - Masters, Teaching English as a Second Language
Reading, dogs, birdwatching
High School English
High School Writing
Study Skills and Organization
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
I enjoy working with students who are serious about learning and who value the hard work necessary to master a subject. I believe that students have the right to expect a high level of professionalism from a tutor or a teacher; teachers have a right to expect a high level of dedication and commitment from their students.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
Discuss with the student the scope of his/her reasons for seeking tutoring. Lay out some goals and objectives. Ask for documents (ex: names of textbooks the student is using). Do a little light diagnostic to see where the student stands in a given subject.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
Hold the student to accountability. Point out issues and remind the student that a given issue, problem, etc. was previously addressed and will only be revisited if it is still unclear. Otherwise, the student must commit to applying the strategy, technique, etc. that was taught to address the issue.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
Point out where the student has improved. Ask the student how he/she is doing in graded coursework over the topic and praise him/her when progress is noted.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
Find another way or other ways to present it until it is learned.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
It depends on the problem. Different strategies apply in different cases. There are a number of techniques that a person can use to help students improve in different areas: dictionary work, vocabulary development, chunking, skimming, scanning, schematizing, focusing on markers, etc. It all depends on what the problem is.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
Laying out my expectations after I learn what the student is hoping to improve on. Setting goals. Assigning regular work and commenting on it extensively.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
Point out connections to the student's life/future life. Help the student see how this subject applies in the real world.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
Quizzing, oral review, questioning, small impromptu assignments. It depends on the student.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
By pointing out his/her successes and showing him/her how much he/she has improved from the beginning.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
Depends on the subject. Survey. Questions. Review of homework. Review of diagnostics. There are a lot of different techniques.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
By paying attention and switching techniques if one isn't working.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
It depends. Mostly the Internet, writing samples, sound files, and related online items.