I am a graduate from The University of Colorado, Boulder with a Bachelor's Degree in Spanish Literature, have my Secondary Education teaching license, and a Minor in Dance. I taught Spanish 1 and 2 during my student teaching, and have traveled to Costa Rica and Mexico, and tutor high school students. I have 10 years of experience teaching dance to children ages 5-18, and have taught Spanish at the high school level, so I am great working with all ages. I also look forward to teaching at a Spanish Immersion camp this Summer.
I enjoy teaching because I get to share my love for the Spanish language and culture with others and look forward to helping others succeed. I am an incredibly patient and caring teacher, and have the ability to teach to a students' specific learning style. I believe in challenging and encouraging each student to reach their highest potential, while providing them guidance and the tools they need to become a successful, community-conscious and well rounded individual.
Outside of tutoring I enjoy dancing, choreographing, acting, snowboarding, and have started surfing. I fuse my passion for Spanish and the performing arts by submitting my choreography to Spanish speaking countries. So far we have performed in a dance festival/contest in Mexico, where we had an outstanding performance in the semi-finals, and have been accepted into finals.
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
I believe in challenging an encouraging each student to reach their highest potential, while providing them guidance and the tools they need to become a successful, community-conscious and well-rounded individual.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
I like to get to know a little bit more about them, including why they believe what they are learning is important, as well as their strengths and what they need to work on. When a student finds importance in what they are learning, they are more motivated to work on what they need to improve in. I also believe in setting a safe and encouraging atmosphere where students feel safe to ask questions, as helping them feel confident that they will overcome challenges and achieve greatness.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
I like teaching children how to think critically for themselves, teaching them metacognitive skills to monitor how they think, how they can ask critical questions in order to problem solve, and also teaching them how to use the resources they have so they can research the answers for themselves.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
I help students stay motivated by tracking their progress, so they can see where they started and see how much they've improved as a result of their time and effort. I use positive reinforcement, and encourage them to believe in themselves. I also find out what matters to each student, so that I can remind them how their hard work personally affects them positively.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
It depends on each student and their learning style. Generally, I would encourage them by showing them I believe they will learn it. I would start by asking them what is confusing about that skill, what parts do they understand and what parts do they not understand? I would try explaining it a few different ways, breaking it down step by step, and show them a few examples. They would be able to ask clarification questions. Then I would give them exercises to work on that skill, and I would have them walk me each one step by step, to see where they are fumbling. Afterwards we would review anything they are still having trouble with. If they are still struggling, I would give them a few more exercises to do as homework, and also we could create questions in which they could take to their teacher at school, explaining how they have been receiving help but still are unsure about xyz.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
I would start with asking them what their strengths are with reading, and then what specifically they need help with. Then we would do an example, I would give them a passage with a few questions and have them read it. I would give them different reading comprehension tools to use, and we would work from there.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
Hands on, visual, repetition, example, and breaking down bigger concepts into smaller sections have been very successful. Teaching students how to ask themselves questions and re-read their work often results in them editing their original work. What is most successful is teaching them to really use what they do know to problem solve, instead of what they don't know. This tends to create students who are confident to think for themselves.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
I find that when you can relate the subject to something that matters to that student, they find value in that subject, and they become hungrier to overcome that struggle.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
I like using little quizzes from the very basic multiple choice, to fill in the blank, to write your own sentence, to verbal conversation on the material. I also like asking the student's thought process on how they came up with their answer. If a student can explain their process, it shows understanding.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
I build a student's confidence in a subject by repeating different exercises on the subject, and encouraging home study and practice on the subject. I find that students that have invested their own time in practicing/studying/preparing questions on exactly what they don't understand, they become more confident.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
Many times a student will know what area they need to work on, but they don't quite understand what specific part they need to work on. So I usually have them do some example work, and when the struggle arises, I begin to ask metacognitive questions on their thinking process on how to approach the problem. If there is a void on that process, then I know that that is what the student needs help on.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
It's nice when a student can communicate what they are working on and need help with before the tutoring session, that way I can prepare. Many times I adapt during a session by creating exercises to cater to exactly what the student needs help on.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
I like using online materials such as Google search to show students all the resources they have available to them for breaking down a problem. I like using email for creating sample questions for online tutoring as well as Skype. I used pencils and paper mostly.