I have worked as a special education teacher for 16 years. My teaching philosophy is that all children are capable of learning when placed in the appropriate learning environment where they feel safe and confident enough to take risks, without the fear of ridicule. I have spent 14 years teaching at the middle school level and two years at the high school level.
I grew up in the inner city of Baltimore, Maryland. I graduated from Western Senior High School, which is the oldest all female public school in the country. From there I graduated from Hampton University in Virginia, earning a BA in Sociology. Once I graduated, I moved back to Baltimore, where I worked as a residential counselor in a group home. After a couple years, I decided I wanted a change and in 2000, I moved to the San Francisco Bay Area and haven't looked back since. Not long after I moved, I began working as a teacher at a non public school and then moved onto San Francisco Unified. I figured out that I really enjoyed teaching and decided to earn my Special Education Credential from Project Pipeline, which is teacher credentialing program.
I am interested in tutoring elementary and middle school math, reading, writing and grammar and mechanics. When I am working with students, I like to use all kinds of strategies. I understand that people learn in different ways. Having a history in special education, I am used to presenting concepts in multiple ways so that all students can grasp the learning material. I also like to integrate the arts in learning whenever the opportunity presents itself.
When I am not working, I enjoy spending time with my husband and 10 year old daughter. She keeps me very busy with her active schedule. But when I take some "me" time, I love to craft, do improv, sing, paint, and cuddle with my cat.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: Hampton University - Bachelors, Sociology
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
My teaching philosophy is that ALL students are capable of learning and succeeding when placed in a safe and supportive environment that allows them to feel comfortable enough to take risks.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
I might do some kind of icebreaker activity so we can get to know one another. I would also ask them about their learning profile. What do they like/dislike about school, teachers, etc.?
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
First, I can help a student become an independent learner by learning about their interests to help engage them. If they are going to learn, it helps if it is related to something they have interest in. Reading can be taught using any subject area. So why not pick a text on something the student actually likes? I need to point out to them the success they are having, no matter how big or small.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
I would help a student stay motivated by making it a point to highlight their growth, no matter how small or big. I also give praise, and may even use a reward system of some kind.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
When introducing a new skill or concept, I usually like to use a fun and engaging video. After that, I try to use various approaches to teach that skill.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
I have students talk to the text. I also use audio books, because sometimes the comprehension is hindered by the lack of fluency. I also have students ask questions and then try to answer the questions they have asked on their own.