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Heather

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My personal statement is that I should be teaching students tools to learn, not just facts. How we learn is just as important as WHAT we learn.

Heather’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania - Bachelors, Elementary Education

Graduate Degree: Clarion University of Pennsylvania - Current Grad Student, Masters Reading

Hobbies

I am an absolute DISNERD! I love Disney. We are going this year and I can NOT contain my excitement!!!

Tutoring Subjects

Arithmetic

College English

Comparative Literature

Elementary Math

Elementary School Math

English

English Grammar and Syntax

Essay Editing

High School English

Homework Support

ISEE Prep

ISEE- Lower Level

Literature

Math

Middle School Math

Other

Reading

SSAT Prep

SSAT- Elementary Level

Study Skills

Study Skills and Organization

Summer

Test Prep

Writing


Q & A

What is your teaching philosophy?

My teaching philosophy has always been to meet a students needs. Teaching according to HOW they learn.

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

I typically build a positive rapport with my students. Having a common ground is necessary for learning as well as teaching.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

I help a student become an independent learner by providing scaffolding. This allows me to "put up and take down" as needed and yet still provide support.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

I often take brain breaks for myself as well as my student. Positive motivation is also provided with specific verbal praise. Not just a "good job". "I really like the adjectives that you chose, they provide me with a great picture! Can you give me a verb that is just as descriptive?"

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

I usually drop back and punt. We will review a mastered skill that is needed for a difficult concept. This provides an instant self-esteem boost. I would also break the skill into more manageable chunks.

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

Breaking down longer passages helps with fluency. Sounding out words phonetically as well as using prior knowledge also helps ease a struggling student.

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

My sense of humor as well as my hatred of math often is successful when working with struggling students. Just because I hate math doesn't mean I didn't learn it and it also doesn't mean I can't do it.

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

Finding a common interest in a student will draw them out and interest them in a way that "boring" material will not. A student will more willingly interact with a particular subject if they are personally vested in an aspect of it. Using sports scores to learn multiplication tables as well as algebra is a good example of this.

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

I usually use a three-step process for guided, independent and master skills. I address each skill three times in each area, in each way.

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

Profiling myself often works. I was NOT the best student. I DID struggle through some subjects. I was not fond of EVERY teacher I had. If I can do it you can too.

How do you evaluate a student's needs?

Communication through the student themselves as well as parental involvement is NECESSARY to evaluate what a student needs.

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

I adapt presentation style as well as adapting to a student’s needs and learning style. I use a highlighter to emphasize key terms and numbers. I also expect the student to use tools that are appropriate to their learning style.

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

I use a dictionary, thesaurus, calculator, note pad, pencil with eraser (because everyone makes mistakes), grammar rules, study skills handbook, and learning styles tip sheet (and my puppy if it gets too stressful.)