I attended Charleston Southern University College for my Elementary undergrad degree and Lesley University for a Masters degree in Integrating the Arts into Curriculum and Instruction. I have a North Carolina Certification in grades K-6 Education and Reading certification in grades K-12. Teaching is and has always been my passion. However, school systems sometimes make it very difficult for me to meet the true needs of my students. Classrooms are most times overcrowded and we are mandated to serve students with a one size fits all curriculum.I truly believe that as I work with students, they begin to create their own curriculum based on their needs.
I love tutoring because it gives me the opportunity to cut through the red tape of school systems and serve a student based on their individual needs. During tutoring sessions, I am able to pay attention to a student and capture their strengths and weaknesses, and create a curriculum centered on the needs of the student. I like to first get an idea of where the student should be and where they are and then get resources that will help bridge the gap.
I care about my students' academics and welfare. I want my students to know I not only care about their success in school, but that I also care about them becoming well informed and self-sufficient citizens of our world.
My daughter Mandisa is a freshman at North Carolina State University. We enjoy cooking and doing crafts together. I collect recipe books and love to try out different dishes from various cultures for family and friends. I try to practice a natural and healthy lifestyle and do a lot of research on it. One of my current hobbies is managing a small but growing closed group on Facebook called The Natural Spot, where my friends and I share healthy and natural information. I enjoy watching the news and keeping up with national and global affairs. I also like to dive into a good book as often as I can and love to watch movies.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: Charleston Southern University - Bachelors, Education
Graduate Degree: Lesley University - Masters, Integrating the Arts in Curriculum and Instruction
Cooking, making crafts, reading, watching the news and movies.
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
In order for me to know how to teach my students, I must first get to know them. I must know their interests, strengths, and weaknesses. I like to start from a place where the student is comfortable and work my way up, because in doing so I'm starting with confidence and not frustration. I also strongly believe that while it's good to have a curriculum, we should caution ourselves not to strive to fit the student into the curriculum mold. I want my students to create their own molds as I facilitate their learning. I incorporate the theory of Howard Gardner, who believes in multiple intelligence. So if a student is struggling in one way to learn or show learning, I should try to find another way for the student to do so. I also believe that I should provide scaffolds and opportunities for students to learn and practice how to think critically and on a higher level. I use Bloom's Taxonomy and the depth of knowledge question stems frequently in my teaching. Teaching to me is a revolving door, because I am constantly reflecting on my practice to check and make sure I am giving my students what they need to be successful in school and the real world.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
I will give a quick personal interest survey which I will use as a springboard to get to know my students. I will introduce myself and explain to the student why I was asked to work with him or her and set some work expectations. I will then conduct some type of assessment to get data and an idea of the student's level in that area. Then we will start working with something that the student is able to do in that area to build self-confidence. I will help the student set some learning goals before we begin the tutoring sessions.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
I will help a student become an independent learner by first clearly explaining the expectations. I will then provide a short check list of tasks and explain what I want done. The student is allowed to ask questions and should check off the tasks as they are completed. I will also encourage and teach my students how to reflect on their learning and conduct self -assessments.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
List of some things I will do to motivate a student: 1. Provide opportunities for the student to make choices.2. Provide opportunities for students to be in control.3. Give rewards.4. Praise when it's earned and be specific.5. Find ways to incorporate the student's interests in lessons.6. Set small attainable goals 7. Teach with energy and purpose.8. Really get to know your students and show them you care genuinely.9. Find ways to make topics fun and hands-on.10. Make learning objectives clearly defined, and remind as you teach.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
I will first ask the student to tell me the parts that are difficult, and then find other ways to reteach the skill or concept. I may give a mini check for understanding assessment to see where the student is struggling. I will explain and teach the objective again and find visuals or songs to help with the understanding of the skill or concept.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
Reading comprehension has different facets. There's comprehension, fluency, accuracy, and vocabulary. Depending on the student's weakness, I will do a comprehensive pre-assessment to get an understanding of where the problem is. Then we will set some reading goals and start working on that skill or concept.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
I found out that if I start with something the student has already mastered, it builds some confidence and strength to be able to start something they are struggling with. They don't start off feeling like a failure.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
I will help students make real life connections to what they are learning. I will try to find reading materials connected to their interests and set small attainable goals. I will also praise and give small rewards when goals are reached.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
A list of techniques: 1. Rereading the text 2. Use student's prior knowledge 3. Use context clues 4. Paraphrase 5. Annotate text 6. Teach the student inference.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
Make frequent references to the sections in a subject that the students have already mastered. Acknowledge and praise students for small successes.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
1. Pre-assessments 2. Post assessments 3. Anecdotal notes from teacher observation 4. Frequent informal check in tickets
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
Part of my teaching philosophy is letting the needs of my students drive the instruction. It is necessary to have a general grade level curriculum, but my tutoring approach will move in the direction of the student's identified needs.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
The materials will depend on the needs of the students. Some examples are: Comprehension passages, Fluency passages, Word lists, Graphic organizers, Leveled books content, Vocabulary question stems