I'm an undergraduate student at Indiana University. I'm studying Elementary Education and Special Education, so I have a strong passion for teaching and helping children in any way that I can. My favorite part of teaching is what I like to call "lightbulb moments", which are moments when a student finally understands something they've been struggling with, and it's as though a little lightbulb goes off in their minds. These moments are what motivate me to do my job and put a smile on my face every day.
Indiana University-Bloomington - Current Undergrad, Teaching All Learners: Elementary Education and Special Education
ACT English: 33
Elementary School Math
High School English
Study Skills and Organization
What is your teaching philosophy?
I believe in using constructivist methods in my teaching, which means that students are actively involved in what they're learning. Through my teaching, I've always used the motto, "Tell me and I'll forget. Show me and I may remember. Involve me and I'll understand" -Chinese proverb
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
In my first session with a student, I'd first want to get to know them, to make sure they're comfortable with me before we start learning. Next, I'd walk through some of the curriculum step-by-step to get an idea of what exactly the student is struggling with, in order to choose the right method to help them.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
Students become independent learners through practice and assistance. Once students understand the basics with some help, they can use that knowledge as a foundation to build new information, becoming more and more independent along the way.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
I would want to use both intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. I would motivate students extrinsically, meaning externally, by offering candy or a reward for a session well done. Intrinsically, or internally, I would tell the student how hard they've worked, and after setting goals of what they'd like to achieve, I'd make an effort to show each student how they're progressing towards that goal.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
If a student has a difficulty with a concept, I would break down the issue step by step to see where the problem lies. If the problem is with the instruction, I would find a different way to present the problem to the student so that they understand it better.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
For reading comprehension, I think graphic organizers are very helpful. First, I'd have students read through a passage once. Then, I'd go back, and split the passage into sections. Then, we'd pull out the important information from each section and place them into a graphic organizer that will outline the most important ideas covered in the passage.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
Breaking down tough ideas into smaller, more manageable pieces always makes hard concepts easier to understand. I also love to get my students involved in some way during my lessons, rather than have them just fill out worksheets or listen to me talk.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
I help my students get engaged through fun activities that we do together, based on things they're interested in. For example, if a student was having trouble with reading, I'd choose a reading passage about something they love, like cats or baseball. If a student is struggling with fractions, I'd help them understand the concept with a pizza cutting activity to get them physically involved. Plus, who doesn't love pizza?
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
Throughout the learning process, I constantly ask my students, "Does this make sense to you?" This way, I can gauge where they stand on a subject; we may need to review it a bit more, or we can move on if they understand the material. I also like to go through an example with students at first, but after teaching them the skills, I let them do some work on their own to see if they've grasped what I've taught them.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
I like to boost my students' confidence through small victories. For example, I had a student who was struggling with reading fluency. For every paragraph or section of reading he got through without struggling, I gave him a 100% A+ for that passage. He loved having the positive reinforcement, and always showed it to his family members. Through this, he knew he could do it, and he was much more confident to keep trying the difficult topics.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
I like to see where students stand by first giving them something that is fairly simple. If they struggle with the simple activity, I try to break down what exactly they're struggling with in particular, so we can build that skill.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
I plan the activities for every lesson. If I feel like a student struggled with something in particular in the last session, I'll make sure that I review it and more clearly explain the concept in the next session, or provide a bit more practice for the subject. If I feel as though a student has successfully learned something, I can then move on to other areas with which they may need help.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
I love to use online printables. Students can interact with the worksheets, and we can go step-by-step through each process. All of the worksheets I use come from the Common Core Standards, so they will be exactly what the students will be learning in school as well.