As an English teacher, my mission is to ensure students are college and career bound. I want to do all I can to make sure they have the skills needed in order to be successful in the demand of today's world. Through hard work and dedication, I ensure my students are prepared to be all they can be.
A little about myself: I graduated from University of Louisville with my bachelors in Education (concentration in English) in 2012. I will graduate in December of 2016 with a specialty in literacy covering P-12. I have been a senior English teacher for nearly four years, not including my student teaching.
On the personal side side, I enjoy cars, hikes, and strength training. I'm an avid gym goer because my health is just as important as my job. Getting healthy is just another step in the right direction to becoming the best teacher that I can be!
University of Louisville - Bachelors, Education with a concentration in English
University of Louisville - Current Grad Student, Specialty in Literacy P-12
What is your teaching philosophy?
Teaching is constantly changing--evolving--GROWING. It grows with the new demands of each generation. It grows with the boom of technology. It grows with the new studies on minds. Each mind is different--and each mind should be treated and assessed to its strength.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
In the first session with a student, I will always introduce myself and explain my background. It is crucial for students to understand where the teacher has come from in order to value what they have to say or think. After introducing myself, I will ask the student about him/herself. However, it is not expected that the student will simply open up--it may take time to truly settle into a setting where the environment is learning conducive.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
Before allowing a student to be independent, their zone of proximal development must be determined. This means that, to ensure student success, a teacher has to assess the student to see where they can succeed but experience the GOOD struggle. This GOOD struggle is a challenge, but not impossible. Once you put a student into the "impossible," you have gone beyond their ZPD, and the student will likely give up on the assignment.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
The best motivation is self-interest. Students have to see how each assignment will eventually evolve into a full circle and create a better path for them. They must see the end goal. As a result, in the beginning of tutoring, the student and I will always create a goal after the first assessment to truly evaluate where the student is and where they could be if they continued the assignments with dedication (motivation).
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
Again, it is important to know the student's ZPD (Zone of Proximal Development). If the assignment is outside of their ZPD, the student will not be able to complete it. If that is the case, the next step is to, quite literally, take a step back. The assignment has to be reevaluated to determine what has to change for that student (what is making it impossible? Where is the GOOD challenge?).
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
Reading comprehension varies with each student. Some students are visualizers. They envision what they see. Other students, however, struggle. The most important strategy I have come across when confronting difficulty with reading comprehension is questioning. If students are asked questions as they read, they will begin to connect the dots. The dots will soon turn into a larger picture, and the students will be able to then see the actual "visual. "
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
There are too many strategies to name. The most interesting part is that not all strategies work for all students. The important part to strategies is that multiple are used to identify which are the best for that particular student.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
The best thing a teacher can do when a student is struggling is to find something that connects deeply with them, or something that they find interesting. That is why doing a survey on interests is an important part of a classroom and tutoring. Being able to differentiate for those students who do struggle in specified content areas is crucial to helping them succeed.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
Items I use: -Questioning -Formative Assessment -Summative Assessment -Dialogue/Conversation
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
The best way to build a student's confidence is to start with what they know and eventually build into what they do not know. In addition, ensuring that whatever is chosen is relevant and interesting to the student.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
The best way to evaluate a student's needs is by giving a pre-assessment or a "diagnostic."
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
That depends completely on the student. Based on what the student needs, I can evaluate what I have and change based off of those needs.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
Materials: -ACT booklets with Questions/Answers -Current Articles with Questions -Exemplars -Surveys -Standards Based Readings (from specified books)