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Priscilla

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PROFESSIONAL TEACHING PHILOSOPHY STATEMENT |
To teach with passion, knowledge, and integrity and to make a difference through teaching in the lives of all who come onto my path. To empower my students to think critically, to be expert problem solvers, and to demonstrate high ethical and moral values in decision-making.
I am a passionate person and care deeply about my responsibility to role model what I teach to students. Professionalism must be modeled as well as taught, and I take the charge seriously. What I do in the classroom is effective only through what I say and do outside of the classroom, which may have more impact, especially when it involves one-on-one interaction.
I have taught for more than 20+ years, and I am constantly changing how I teach to reach the ever-changing audience of students who come into the classroom. It is an exciting place, the classroom. It is like a crucible where the fire of my desires for them meets the boundless energy of their quest for learning. Sometimes we have ignition with great flame; and other times, it is just a small flickering light that emerges. I am sure, they are almost never aware they are on a quest, but I see it, and it is thrilling to be part of that journey.
I am project oriented, and I design projects for my communications classes that reflect real world applications. It is as though they can practice now for the future in a safe place, where the stakes are not as high. They are challenged to go out into the business community and interact with working professionals. Many of them, before coming to my class, have not thought seriously about their future. Going into the outside world as a dressed-up professional is new territory for most of them. My class is centered on the development of a specific set of communication skills, but I challenge the students to create the course content specifically designed around their future career goals. I have many conversations in my office where they admit that they have no idea what they want to do in their future. It affords an excellent opportunity to direct, suggest, and help shape their thought processes. I take the role of mentor with great awe seeing the tremendous impact teachers have in the lives of students.
I enjoy a relationship where I can know my students as I do my corporate clients and to some extent design a program around what their needs are in the short and long term. I want to create an environment where I can know if my students are having difficulty with a particular part of an assignment. I enjoy the luxury that a relationship affords, and strive to be accessible to my students. It is exciting to see how much personal growth they experience in such a short amount of time.
I believe when they come to us, their moral behavior is already formed. We can only challenge them to discover what their code of conduct will be in making ethical decisions. We can present situational life challenges, and they decide. I do not believe we can increase their IQ (I know some disagree with this position), but I do believe we have an obligation to supply them the tools to help with their success when they are launched in the world outside.

I love to teach, and to work with students in a one-on-one environment is the best of all worlds.

Priscilla’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: Lee University Cleveland TN - Bachelors, English

Graduate Degree: University of Mississippi - PHD, English and Humanities | Masters | English Specialist | Doctorate

Hobbies

The news

Tutoring Subjects


Q & A

What is your teaching philosophy?

PROFESSIONAL TEACHING PHILOSOPHY STATEMENT To teach with passion, knowledge, and integrity, and to make a difference through teaching in the lives of all who come onto my path. To empower my students to think critically, to be expert problem solvers, and to demonstrate high ethical and moral values in decision-making. I am a passionate person and care deeply about my responsibility to role model what I teach to students. Professionalism must be modeled as well as taught, and I take the charge seriously. What I do in the classroom is effective only through what I say and do outside of the classroom, which may have more impact, especially when it involves one-on-one interaction. I have taught for more than 20+ years, and I am constantly changing how I teach to reach the ever-changing audience of students who come into the classroom. It is an exciting place, the classroom. It is like a crucible where the fire of my desires for them meets the boundless energy of their quest for learning. Sometimes we have ignition with great flame; and other times, it is just a small flickering light that emerges. I am sure, they are almost never aware they are on a quest, but I see it, and it is thrilling to be part of that journey. I am project oriented, and I design projects for my communications classes that reflect real world applications. It is as though they can practice now for the future in a safe place, where the stakes are not as high. They are challenged to go out into the business community and interact with working professionals. Many of them, before coming to my class, have not thought seriously about their future. Going into the outside world as a dressed-up professional is new territory for most of them. My class is centered on the development of a specific set of communication skills, but I challenge the students to create the course content specifically designed around their future career goals. I have many conversations in my office where they admit that they have no idea what they want to do in their future. It affords an excellent opportunity to direct, suggest, and help shape their thought processes. I take the role of mentor with great awe seeing the tremendous impact teachers have in the lives of students. I enjoy a relationship where I can know my students as I do my corporate clients and to some extent design a program around what their needs are in the short and long term. I want to create an environment where I can know if my students are having difficulty with a particular part of an assignment. I enjoy the luxury that a relationship affords, and strive to be accessible to my students. It is exciting to see how much personal growth they experience in such a short amount of time. I believe when they come to us, their moral behavior is already formed. We can only challenge them to discover what their code of conduct will be in making ethical decisions. We can present situational life challenges, and they decide. I do not believe we can increase their IQ (I know some disagree with this position), but I do believe we have an obligation to supply them the tools to help with their success when they are launched in the world outside.

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

The most important thing to do when you meet a person for the first time is to listen. Their story, how they feel about themselves, where they are in a particular process, what their goals are... these are what really matter. I just listen!

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

The journey to knowledge is a commitment to being a life-long learner. This commitment occurs only when what you as an instructor sees as important is somehow aligned with what matters to the client. The love of learning comes from inside and is sparked only by how it works to make life better, to provide an opportunity to make life better for others, and to reach personal goals. As an instructor, you can only provide the path and give the tools.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

Motivation comes when a student recognizes that they can achieve and that the goal is attainable for them. All too often students are made to believe they cannot achieve. The system in which they operate is often large and un-incentivizing as well as impersonal. This is why personal and one-on-one instruction works so well for many students.

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

The skill to write with concision and accuracy, to speak articulately with persuasion to solve problems with strong critical thinking skills is just that a skill. Skills are learned one way... you learn the rules of the game, you may watch a video of how it's done, you may see examples of the execution of the skill... then you go out and practice. Writing and speaking and problem solving are just like tennis... practice, practice, practice!

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

Reading comprehension is the core skill needed to both write and speak effectively. Depending on the skill level of the student, it may be good to start with vocabulary drills. Testing students for eye movements can also provide clues to help student retrain reading patterns. Reading from left to right is the natural pattern for most readers, but not for all. Having students use a pencil, etc., to follow along with words is also helpful. While it slows the reading rate, it often gives students confidence and permission to slow down and thereby have more understanding.

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

I am sure I have said this... listening is the most important thing that anyone can do when they are interacting with another person. As an instructor, it helps to know their story, to understand how they perceive themselves, what is bothering them, what matters to them. It is so often that their concerns center around how they are perceived by others. Knowing their profile is the most helpful in determining what motivates them.

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

Excitement is created via a goal that they want and that you can convince them is attainable. You must be realistic with students and present the path to their victory in chunks of information that can be mastered in stages.

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

Having students repeat your questions and teaching them to make a habit of asking for clarity is essential. Often I give the student this opener..."What I believe | think you said was ___. Is that correct?"

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

Praise, praise, praise. It works all the time, every time and for all of us. Smiling is essential and universal communication that signals all is well. False flattery falls flat. They say you cannot fool kids or dogs. People sense sincerity or pandering. Everyone can be good at something and you just have to find the something.

How do you evaluate a student's needs?

From a skills standpoint, many standard tests are on the market and can be readily used to determine reading and writing levels. Knowing where to begin is essential. An instructor needs a benchmark. Student needs are determined by where they need to go academically; Is it just to pass a subject, is it to make a 4 or 5 on the AP exam, is it to have the grades to graduate in the top 10% of the class, is it to be able to pass a test for the trades. Every need requires a different skill set.

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

Meeting students where they are in terms of their attitude, their aptitude, or their anxiety is imperative to teaching. The quickest way to find where they are is to have them tell you. They will, if you listen. It is also easy to watch their non-verbal language which speaks volumes about what they really are thinking. Often what they say is not what they mean, and you can read the real meaning in their body language.

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

Materials are determined by the skill being cultivated and the level of the student. Helping a student with a doctoral dissertation will not require the same tools as helping a middle-schooler with grammar drills. The computer is a must for all.