I am a middle school librarian with 15 years of experience in the classroom. A large part of my classroom instruction involved tutoring in all core subject areas in grades K-5. Since becoming a librarian, I've had the pleasure of working with middle school teens as they prepare for academic competitions. My teaching philosophy involves listening to the student and assessing their weaknesses and strengths. I use scaffolding to build upon small successes until the student has mastered skills and achieved their goals.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: Southern Methodist University - Bachelors, Broadcast Film
Graduate Degree: Southern Methodist University - Masters, Bilingual Education
Reading, Music, Running
Elementary School Math
Elementary School Reading
High School English
Middle School Reading
Middle School Reading Comprehension
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
I believe in working with students, developing their strengths and improving their weaknesses. Everyone can learn, but not in the same way and pace.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
Students needs to have successes in learning. Scaffolding lessons to allow them to master skills will make it easier for them to become independent learners since they will stay motivated.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
Short quizzes, project based opportunities to apply what has been in tutoring, use of technology in homework, and frequent contact to answer questions as needed are just some of the ways I would work to help keep students motivated
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
I break it down to the very core. If a student has problems writing a good sentence, then we go back to basics and review the parts of speech for example. Also, I use nontraditional sources to make a point. When I was a teacher, I would use movies and the books they were based on to demonstrate cause and effect, summary just to assist those visual learners.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
Letter spacing, the use of color in sentences to help follow the words, selection of books that help with reading comprehension that fits the student's reading level, and lessons on key skills that make reading comprehension difficult are just a few of the ways to assist struggling readers.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
1. Interview of likes and dislikes about the subject being tutored. 2. Showing examples of success stories. 3. Doing an assessment of skills so that students can set up a portfolio. 4. Returning and reviewing portfolio as tutoring continues.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
Provide examples of real world use of the subject. Students often don't like a subject because it doesn't interest them. Showing them how it applies to the real world can get them engaged.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
1. Oral and written pop quizzes. 2. Projects that require the skills being tutored to be demonstrated in final product. 3. Oral/Written informal assessment during tutoring to assist direction of lessons. 4. Verbal explanations on how students solved problems/questions.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
* Small victories. * Mastery of basic concepts. * Gradual application of higher level skills. * For writing tutoring, built in errors to allow student to find errors. * Positive feedback.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
*Comparison of work over a period of time using work generated to "see" improvement. *Short quizzes *Student interview *Student feedback during and after lesson.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
If a lesson isn't working, then it's time to try something else. If a "teachable moment" presents itself, then I go with the new approach if student(s) seem to understand concept better with the latter.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
1. Samples of questions, charts, technology (when applicable), a list of online resources which can assist student in homework.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
1. Informal discussion/ introduction of my credentials and other information about myself. 2. Q & A about the student and their needs. 3. Brief assessment of what student perceives to be his/her weaknesses.