I love English and all things related to the subject: I love reading, writing fiction and non-fiction, and poetry.
My love for English includes writing essays for class. Because of this, I enjoy helping peers review and evaluate what they need to edit in their rough drafts to write the best possible final draft of their essay.
I also found that I enjoy helping kids learn how to read, write and perform simple math, thanks to my little brother.
I believe that helping others realize their true potential and talents is what I live for!
College of Southern Nevada - Associates, English
High School English
Study Skills and Organization
What is your teaching philosophy?
I believe that every student is capable of more than they believe. Everyone needs a little push in the right direction, but what truly unlocks a student's skills is showing them that it was hiding within their own words the entire time. For instance, you look at an essay. You don't think much of it; you don't think you made a valid point. With a little calm editing, you find the perfect essay hidden underneath it all, like buried treasure. You just have to clean it up a bit, but the reward, the product, it was yours to begin with.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
I would want to get to know my student and get to the root of their problems. Not only is there a need to find out what they're struggling with, as far as the subject matter goes, but there is a need to find out WHY it is a problem. Do they not understand a concept? Did they grasp the concept in a completely different manner, and it’s just not sitting well with their learning strategies? Or do they simply not believe they are capable of accomplishing great work? All of these can be addressed.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
To encourage a student to learn independently, you need to present them with subject matter that they can study with on their own time. In the topic of English, one can strengthen their writing abilities by simply reading books, fiction or non-fiction. Reading a book can give a student a new arsenal of vocabulary, sentence structure, tones, imaginative argument points, creativity, and inspiration.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
I'd constantly point out how great they truly are. Perhaps a student has doubt with the work they've presented. That doubt needs to be erased by showing them they truly are capable of great things. You take what they made, and show them how perfect it actually was. A rough draft is like a freshly crafted ring: you have to polish and sand off the jagged edges and obstructing material to see the beautiful shine and craftsmanship of the ring.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
Find and address the root of the problem. Do they truly not understand a concept, or are they simply lacking motivation? If they don't believe in themselves, you need to help them see why they should. Give them something really simple and allow them to build that concept little by little, let the student feel like they're teaching you for a bit, and soon they'll realize they were capable the entire time.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
Reading comprehension can be a difficult subject. Students need to understand the importance of breaking down a passage into small portions. Smaller portions of a passage become much easier to comprehend. Read the entire passage once, then separate by paragraphs, because each paragraph presents a new concept, a new idea. Then analyze each paragraph for what it's worth, what its purpose is, even if its only purpose was to describe where someone went. Once each paragraph has been broken down and analyzed, a student can begin to connect these ideas, realize why they were connected in the order that they were presented, and discover the purpose or idea of the entire passage.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
You have to take their work, and polish it just a little bit. Make them realize that what they feel they tried to accomplish was actually accomplished all along. Allow the student to decide what they were actually meaning to do, and they'll realize how to fix a problem on their own. A little push goes a long way, but you can't shove. A shove accomplishes nothing.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
I need to show my own excitement for a subject, I need to explain why I love the subject, and why the subject is needed in life. I also need to allow them to realize how capable they are of accomplishment in the subject. Nothing motivates a student more than being told that their ideas are valued, and that their ideas are great ideas. Build their confidence, because it truly motivates.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
It's amazing how far summarizing an activity or passage goes. Summarizing is a great technique for students to focus on the main ideas and concepts they've read or experienced within a passage or activity done.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
You have to let the student feel like they're capable of teaching you something. Take their idea, their way of thinking about a subject, and truly think about how they understand a concept. Most the time, a student's point of view on a topic can be starkly different than your own, and you should let them know that their way of thinking is unique and valued.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
You need to address their weaknesses in their work and why those weaknesses exist. Do those weaknesses exist because they don't understand a concept or topic, or merely because they don't feel motivated enough for their actual opinions to matter in their work? Address any and all accordingly.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
Some students have trouble writing essays because they don't understand literary concepts, such as metaphors or the abstract, while other students struggle with the English language itself. Though they comprehend it now, former ESL students need a lot more attention and help with grammar, punctuation and sentence structure than do native English speaking students. Obviously, adapt to the situation. If a student needs punctuation, structure and grammar help, begin with those basics. If a student needs help comprehending the abstract of English, begin with addressing which literary terms and concepts they most struggle with and go from there.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
In person, I like to use a red pen or highlighter, and always prefer the student to have a piece of scratch paper out or a notepad to take notes on what they should change within an already written essay. A notepad or notebook and paper is great for brain-storming ideas to begin an essay, so I like to use my own notebook and some colored pencils or pens to demonstrate how each method of brainstorming works.