I recently graduated from the University of Pittsburgh. I studied at Pitt for five years, earning a bachelors degree in developmental psychology and a master's degree in instruction and learning. I am Pennsylvania certified to teach elementary and special education. While at Pitt I was a member of a service sorority where I spent time volunteering with Best Buddies (building friendships between college students and people who have special needs in the Pittsburgh area), the Jewish Community Center, Pitt Dance Marathon (which raises money for organizations such as the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation), and Relay for Life. I was a member of the Sigma Alpha Lambda Honors Society, and on the executive board for Best Buddies.
Throughout my time in the School of Education, I have experienced four diverse student teaching placements. I have experience working with students with autism, emotional disturbances, and learning disabilities. Working with diverse students has helped me shape the way I teach. It is essential to tailor instruction to the student's unique skill set. There is no "one size fits all" model when it comes to teaching and tutoring students. I strive to prepare materials that are engaging and developmentally appropriate for students.
I am very close with my family, and I enjoy spending time with friends! In my free time I like to go to the gym, read, and watch Netflix!
I look forward to meeting with you and your student soon!
Undergraduate Degree: University of Pittsburgh-Pittsburgh Campus - Bachelors, Applied Developmental Psychology
Graduate Degree: University of Pittsburgh-Pittsburgh Campus - Masters, Instruction and Learning
What is your teaching philosophy?
It is essential to meet the needs of students, understanding that each student learns differently--I value patience when it comes to this. I strive to create materials and utilize manipulatives that will accompany the content. "I hear and I forget, I see and I remember, I do and I understand;" I want each student to understand, meaning that I cannot give them the answer, rather they must discover it with my guidance and support.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
The first session is the time to get to know your student's range of abilities. Using questioning and informal assessments can be useful when determining where the student's strengths are and where they need more support. In addition, building a positive rapport with the student needs to begin from day one. Without a strong, positive rapport, it is more challenging for the student to respond and to build trust.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
This can be challenging, but it is very important for long-term learning. Scaffolding questions, and modeling effective learning qualities are great ways to help a student become an independent learner. For example, underlining/highlighting when reading a passage, writing down questions, and re-reading the text are all examples of ways to interact with a text. Modeling this is beneficial for a student to see, and to begin doing it on their own.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
To help a student stay motivated, I would practice positive self-talk. Reminding them that we will get through this, and that we can try it a different way if this strategy is not working right now. In addition, I would like to use positive reinforcement. Perhaps after the session they can have a few minutes of free time to read or draw or create a silly problem to solve.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, I would re-phrase my explanation. I would give them a different leveled problem, working up to more challenging problems. The student might benefit from a re-teach, perhaps during the next session. I could prepare more materials and questions that are geared to their level of understanding right now. It is important to stay patient, and maintain the student's self esteem.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
To help students who are struggling with reading comprehension, I would model strategies to interact with the text. After modeling, the student and I would use these strategies together. Finally, they would use these strategies independently. Strategies include underlining and highlighting key information in the text, re-reading the text, re-reading the questions and identifying the correct response.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
I find it incredibly successful to be open, friendly, and positive when you first begin working with a student. Letting them know what my expectations are, and that I am looking forward to working with them. In addition, I want to get to know them more. I think it is good to ask questions about things that interest them.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
I would try to connect the material to something in the student's life that they find interesting. The connection will help to increase their engagement and interest in the material.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
To be sure the student understand the material, I would have them explain the steps/process, explaining why the correct answer is correct, and re-teaching the material to me.