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Melissa

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Providing students with comprehensive strategies that have been proven effective is the best way to increase student achievement. Struggling students need targeted interventions in an intensive format in order to make substantial growth in needed areas.

I have a wealth of experience helping students overcome struggles in many areas, which was gained during my time as an educator and as a graduate student in Reading Education. I am leaving the classroom after 14 wonderful years as an elementary school teacher.

While pursuing my PHD in Reading Education, I will be working in the Reading Department within the College of Education at the University of Central Florida. I am excited to begin this new chapter in my life, however I will always be passionate about working directly with students.

Over the past 14 years, I have taught every grade ranging from first through fifth. I have enjoyed seeing students use critical thinking and problem solving to create unique perspectives to challenges that face our society. I know that one of the most common reasons students have difficultly excelling is lack of engagement. I firmly believe it is the teacher's job to motivate and engage students. This is a vital part of my instructional practice. I look forward to working together!

Melissa’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: University of Central Florida - Bachelors, Elementary Education

Graduate Degree: University of Central Florida - Masters, Reading Education

Hobbies

Reading, Traveling, and spending time with children.

Tutoring Subjects

College English

Elementary Math

Elementary School Math

English

ESL/ELL

High School English

ISEE Prep

ISEE- Lower Level

Math

Other

Reading

Study Skills

Study Skills and Organization

Test Prep


Q & A

What is your teaching philosophy?

I believe that all children can learn and achieve their goals. Rather than blame the student when traditional methods don't work, teachers should find strategies that work for all learning styles. When a teacher finds outs what a student really is struggling with and provides focused and intensive interventions, the student will make great improvements.

What might you do in a typical first session with a student?

In the first session it is important to get to know the student. In addition to learning specific academic strengths and weaknesses, it’s great to get to know the student's likes and interests. This information is vital when planning future sessions.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

When helping students, it's important to begin with modeling the skill, and then help the student gain comfort with the skill through guided practice. It is important to give the student the opportunity to demonstrate independence with the skill after modeling and providing guided practice.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

Learning likes and interests is a great way to tap into a student's motivation. Incorporating that interest in the instruction is vital. I found it also helps to have students set goals and monitor their own progress.

If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?

I look for other ways to teach the skill. I try to match the instructional strategy to the student's specific learning style.

How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?

I teach students how to self-monitor so students are aware that reading is thinking. I use think alouds to model this process. I also teach a multitude of comprehension strategies that are used before, during, and after reading. I teach students to tap into their prior knowledge and make connections as they read. Many students struggle with comprehension due to lack of vocabulary.

What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?

I find it helpful to share my thought process as I'm explaining content. I also ask many questions to help lead the student to the correct answer. I provide practice and review content with the student so we can address misconceptions.

How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?

I would begin by making the student feel successful in that area so we can build confidence.

What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?

I would ask students opened ended questions while teaching new content. I would check for misunderstandings in order to address them early. I would check progress at each session through work samples so I could provide ongoing feedback.

How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?

I would find the current level of the student's performance, and start there so the student begins with success. I would also find the student's strengths and build on them.

How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?

I would revise future lessons based on the student's success and struggles. I would adapt lessons to build rigor of content while addressing the student's likes and interests.

What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?

I use a variety of materials from textbooks, video media, and interactive websites to help build skills.