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I have been working and studying in the field of education since 1999, and I enjoy working with a variety of students. It is my goal that every student learns to find a voice and communicate his or her opinions in a compelling and professional way. Many students feel intimidated by writing, so I try to break language down into manageable chunks so that students can understand exactly how words and ideas work together to form a cohesive argument.

I have a master's degree in linguistics and TESOL from the University of Texas at Arlington and a BA in English from Texas A&M University. I have taught middle school and high school English and ESL both in the U.S. and abroad.

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Amanda’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: Texas A & M University-College Station - Bachelors, English

Graduate Degree: University of Texas at Artlington - Masters, Linguistics

Test Scores

ACT Composite: 31

ACT English: 31

ACT Math: 30

ACT Reading: 36

SAT Composite: 1440

SAT Math: 700

SAT Verbal: 740

GRE Analytical Writing: 730


Reading, gardening

Q & A

What is your teaching philosophy?

Every student can be successful if he or she has the tools and confidence to keep trying. It is my job to be a coach and cheerleader as well as a teacher. Students must know that their ideas are valuable. By working on language skills, students can learn to communicate those ideas in an understandable and professional manner.

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

It is important to establish good rapport with a student at the beginning and also assess his or her needs. I like to start with a Jeopardy-like game where we find out information about each other. Next, I do a personal writing prompt that we each answer and share. That way, I can assess their writing while we continue to build our relationship.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

Students need the tools to find out information on their own. Instead of answering questions, I might ask, "Where do you think you can find this out?" Then we can look together for the answer. Students can also write journals where they practice fluency of ideas over correctness to build their confidence.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

Breaking tasks into small chunks can allow students to see progress and feel success along the way. Trying to choose activities that are intrinsically motivating can help as well.

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

I try to give examples that are very easy before building on to more and complex examples. Students can "think out loud" as they are working through concepts, which I can also model.

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

It is helpful to students to learn certain reading skills: - Previewing a text and activating prior knowledge. - Building vocabulary through context clues. - Questioning and annotating the text as they read. - Working on reading speed drills.

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

It helps to break up the time, doing several different activities so that the student doesn't have a chance to lose interest. I also try to take interest in the student's life and activities, allowing him or her to write about subjects that have personal significance.

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

Finding topics that interest the student can help, as well as breaking the subject down into manageable parts. Success can be very motivating.

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

With reading, I like to use tell-backs to make sure they understand. Writing can be assessed with doing timed writing prompts. I usually assess grammar with quizzes.

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

Starting with easier tasks and scaffolding from there will help build confidence.

How do you evaluate a student's needs?

I am constantly assessing a student's needs based on their output, both oral and written. If I need to, I could give a more formal evaluation with a writing prompt or practice test.

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