A photo of Krystalyn, a tutor from Montclair State University

Krystalyn

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I am a graduate from Montclair State University. I studied Elementary Education and graduated, Cum Laude, with a Bachelor's Degree in Education. After Graduation, while searching for a teaching job, I had the pleasure of working with preschoolers. After that I got recruited to work for the Paterson Public School district, where for two years I taught Science, Social Studies and Language Arts to 4th graders. My experience with testing involves NJASK and PARCC. I am also actively involved in my local community college- Passaic County Community College. I am a teacher at their Gear up/College bound program where I teach High School students from Passaic and Paterson Biology and Forensic Science. I enjoy helping students do the very best that they can and provide opportunities for students to grow and even surpass their very best! In my free time I enjoy soccer games at Red Bull arena, cooking, reading, hiking and traveling- my most recent adventure was to Peru. Lastly, about my personality- I am fun, relaxed, patient and kind, all things I believe necessary to be an excellent tutor besides intelligence, of course.

Krystalyn’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: Montclair State University - Bachelors, Education

Hobbies

reading, playing soccer, cooking, yoga, dance

Tutoring Subjects

Arithmetic

College English

Elementary Math

Elementary School Math

English

High School English

Homework Support

ISEE Prep

ISEE- Lower Level

Math

Middle School Math

Other

PARCC Prep

Reading

Study Skills

Study Skills and Organization

Test Prep

Writing


Q & A

What is your teaching philosophy?

My teaching philosophy is that all students can learn, and that not all students learn the same. We as teachers and tutors and nurturers must constantly adapt, grow, change and learn, just as we ask our students to do.

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

In a typical first session, we would have already gotten introductions out of the way by phone, so we could get right down to the subject or test we are practicing for. I would assess where the student is and where the student needs to go. We will set goals (short and long term) together and put together a plan both the student and I are comfortable with in order for success. At the end of the session there will be a wrap up with a plan for next time.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

There are many ways to help a student become an independent learner. One of my favorites is the modeling method- I do. We do. You do. This gives the student the confidence and tools needed to tackle anything on their own when the time comes.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

I would keep a student motivated with relatable materials and praise for the effort they are putting in. I would also keep the goals that are being set realistic and celebrate little victories on the way to long term goals in order to keep up morale.

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

Find another way to explain it. There is no use in explaining something over and over the same way. Something must change; that's how differentiation comes into play. The way you explain something can be an example of differentiation. You can also make it relatable to the student's life. Say the student is having trouble with a math problem that involves sports- say the student doesn't relate to sports. I would keep the content the same while changing the delivery of the explanation based on the student's interests, and the student may have an easier time understanding the problem.

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

Students should be taught to 'size up' a text before reading it- looking at the title, pictures, and bold or highlighted words as context clues to have an idea of what the text is about before reading it. It is also important to teach students to "read to understand" not just read to read. Going over comprehension questions before reading also allows students to practice comprehension. For rigorous texts, re-reading and numbering paragraphs are also helpful strategies. Imagining a setting or characters also helps with reading comprehension. Connecting ideas or themes to real life also helps students understand what they are reading.

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

I like to get to know the student. A connection to the student and a feeling of individualized attention from the start sets a standard of caring and interest. From there it is easier to plan how to teach the student based on their personality, likes and dislikes, and strengths and weaknesses.

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

Relatability is key. You have to make it interesting to the student. That's what's great about being a tutor- you can be a little more creative in re-teaching a concept. Expressing your own struggles with a concept and how you got better at it can also be inspiring to the student. It also makes you a real person. Hey- not even teachers know everything!

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

The last of the modeling is you do. So, without help or guidance, the student should be able to use the tools, tips, and strategies given by you, the teacher, to understand the material on their own. If there is even the slightest hiccup- there should be a re-teach, even if it is for one part of a lesson and not the whole thing. Along the way there should be little assessments so that you know the material is being understood.

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

A good way to build confidence in a subject is to scaffold the learning so they can master problems, build confidence and tackle rigorous work with ease.

How do you evaluate a student's needs?

Pre-testing is a start for evaluating a student's needs. As an educator, you need to see what your student's strengths and weaknesses are before you go anywhere. Goals need to be set together and a plan needs to be put into place by the instructor to accomplish those goals. Assessments need to be done along the way to ensure progress. Data and progress should be shared with the student.

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

I adapt my tutoring to my student's needs by assessing trouble areas and how they learn. Some students require below level work and some require on level work- it is important to know whether you are re-teaching a topic or challenging your student. It is also important to pay attention to attention span and whether your student is a visual or tactile learner.

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

During my tutoring sessions, I use a variety of materials. I use videos, games, worksheets, web-quests, textbooks, e-books, flashcards and more!