A photo of Sansan, a tutor from Landmark Baptist College

Sansan

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Teaching and tutoring are of the greatest interest of mine. And teaching and tutoring French is on the top of the line.
I am from the Ivory Coast also known as Cote d'Ivoire, a French speaking colony in West Africa. I am a French born and native speaker who, gradually developed an immense passion for teaching and tutoring.
Learning a foreign language (French)can be sometimes very challenging. I was myself, as a non native English speaker, a student of at least one foreign language student (had to learn Spanish too in addition to English as a High School graduation requirement). So, I perfectly understand the emotions, fears and reservations that could overwhelm the student's mind in attempt to learn a foreign language, so I am therefore better prepare to help my students gain confidence and worthiness throughout the entire learning process.
Experience wise, I have a total 20 years of teaching French experience at all levels, currently teaching French at Southeastern University, and previously taught French at the University of South Florida, and few years for the Hillsborough Public Schools.
My approach to foreign language teaching is quintessentially student focus. I provide my students with the necessary tools for them to be able to function linguistically in any giving social environment were French is used as the communication tool. My students are the most important tools, not the curriculum or the books. I serve as the guide, a participant observer who helps the student navigate through the pathways of using French to convey social interaction meanings.
I love pets, currently own a nice chubby rabbit name Fluffly. I believe in healthy living so I enjoy jogging, running and swimming.
I am glad and excited to be working in partnership with Varsity Tutors to help our students grown intellectually and meet their educational goals,and I can't wait to meet you and to "bien s'amuser en francais!".

Sansan’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: Landmark Baptist College - Bachelors, Secondary Education

Graduate Degree: University of South Florida-Main Campus - Masters, French

Hobbies

Reading. swimming, BBQ

Tutoring Subjects

AP French

French 3

French 4


Q & A

What is your teaching philosophy?

I believe in instilling a passion for lifetime learning into my students. One way I instill this passion is by being a model lifetime learner for my students. For instance, in my classroom, you will hear me thinking aloud, interacting with the text during reading, and demonstrating inquiry by asking questions. I believe that every child can reach their learning potential, with high expectations, the necessary support and opportunities, and a caring classroom. I support this effort by greeting each child as he/she enters the classroom, so that each student feels welcome and believes that he/she is part of a learning community. I clearly state the learning and behavioral expectations for my class, and I follow through in upholding these standards. For instance, if a student turns in a substandard project, then I meet with the student, reiterate my expectations, and provide any further assistance or support that the student might need to finish the project. I believe in teaching students with dignity, and in providing a fun, student-centered learning environment. I make sure that every child knows that is they are worthy, by listening to and caring for their needs. I work hard to create a classroom that celebrates achievement and progress. These efforts encourage the students to stay in school and learn. Weekly celebrations in the form of specific task praise, certificates, positive calls home, and group recognition are common in my classroom. By the end of the school year, each child will be celebrated for some contribution to the class

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

First impressions tend to be lasting impressions. Strive to convey organization, preparedness and enthusiasm. Try to arrive in the classroom before your students and organize your handouts, roll sheet, recheck equipment functionality, and other materials. Put your name on the board for students to see as they come in. If there is additional material to be written on the board, try to do so before students arrive, if appropriate and not distracting to student involvement in the lesson. Notes should be written/taken in context. dig deeper Greet students as they enter the classroom. Breathe. Understand and accept that being nervous is quite normal. Let students know when you'll handle enrollment issues such as signing add/drops. Show a human side. Share information about yourself such as the history behind your teaching career and other professional activities. Share any activities or connections you have with the community outside of your teaching, and any hobbies or other special interests which you enjoy. Make these comments brief. If you have students introduce themselves in pairs, have a student introduce you. Get to know your students. Immediately try to associate names with faces. Allow students to introduce themselves. Ask about career and educational goals. Inquire about their expectations of the class. Have students write what they want to be called on a folded card and put it on the edge of their desk. If you have a digital camera, ask students to hold their plaque and take their picture. Be very sensitive to students who may not want their picture taken. You must have their permission. Avoid making apologies for any lack of teaching experience. Your enthusiasm for the subject matter and your ability to engage students is more important than experience. Use an icebreaker to initiate the exchange of information. dig deeper

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

All teachers want to develop their students into independent learners. In so doing, they hope that the pupils in their charge can take control of their own learning – both inside the classroom and beyond. However, there can often be something of a gap between our stated intentions and what we do on a day-to-day basis. This can lead to our aims being upset through a failure to properly consider whether or not our actions will lead to the goal we desire. For example, one of the prerequisites of independent learning is the ability to work on your own, with minimal direction and with confidence. This includes a sense of how to manage one’s own learning as well as how to respond to difficulties or challenges. In such a situation it is necessary that the teacher takes a back seat. After all, how can a student be independent if their teacher is taking the major role in their learning? A question arises. How can we be sure that our pupils are being independent learners if we are not closely involved with what they are doing? Ultimately, we cannot be completely certain. We have to have some faith. This faith is a manifestation of the belief we have that our pedagogical approach has cultivated independent habits of mind in the students we teach. In this sense, the faith is based on evidence, albeit evidence which is not total and which can be contradicted. Stepping back, we now find ourselves in a position where we must ask how we develop independent habits of mind, such that we can allow our pupils the space in which to be independent.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

1. Give students a sense of control. While guidance from a teacher is important to keeping kids on task and motivated, allowing students to have some choice and control over what happens in the classroom is actually one of the best ways to keep them engaged. For example, allowing students to choose the type of assignment they do or which problems to work on can give them a sense of control that may just motivate them to do more.2. Define the objectives. It can be very frustrating for students to complete an assignment or even to behave in class if there aren’t clearly defined objectives. Students want and need to know what is expected of them in order to stay motivated to work. At the beginning of the year, lay out clear objectives, rules, and expectations of students so that there is no confusion and students have goals to work towards.3. Create a threat-free environment. While students do need to understand that there are consequences to their actions, far more motivating for students than threats are positive reinforcements. When teachers create a safe, supportive environment for students, affirming their belief in a student’s abilities rather than laying out the consequences of not doing things, students are much more likely to get and stay motivated to do their work. At the end of the day, students will fulfill the expectations that the adults around them communicate, so focus on can, not can’t.4. Change your scenery. A classroom is a great place for learning, but sitting at a desk day in and day out can make school start to seem a bit dull for some students. To renew interest in the subject matter or just in learning in general, give your students a chance to get out of the classroom. Take field trips, bring in speakers, or even just head to the library for some research. The brain loves novelty and a new setting can be just what some students need to stay motivated to learn.5. Offer varied experiences. Not all students will respond to lessons in the same way. For some, hands-on experiences may be the best. Others may love to read books quietly or to work in groups. In order to keep all students motivated, mix up your lessons so that students with different preferences will each get time focused on the things they like best. Doing so will help students stay engaged and pay attention.

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

Take into account the "me, here, now." Picture yourself as a member of the audience and ask "How does this message affect me, here, now?" Me, here, now translates into what you as a sender have to offer your students/receivers—what they will be able to understand, accept, support, consider important—because it matters to them. Establish cognitive / behavioral objectives for student learning: What do I want my students to know? What do I want my students to do with what they know? Analyze, synthesize, apply, evaluate.

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

Comprehension strategies are conscious plans — sets of steps that good readers use to make sense of text. Comprehension strategy instruction helps students become purposeful, active readers who are in control of their own reading comprehension. These seven strategies have research-based evidence for improving text comprehension.

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

The following is a list of materials and tools specific to what a tutor and/or student would use during an online tutoring session in the classroom: a smartphone, tablet, laptop, or desktop computer with a reliable Internet connection. Any homework, assignment sheets, project outlines, etc., that pertain to the lesson (files can be shared between the tutor and student within the classroom). An interactive whiteboard. HD video/audio feeds. Live chat. Any textbooks relevant to the lesson. Materials for physical note taking (some students and tutors like to take notes with a pen and paper, although the session is recorded for review purposes).