My name is Sara, and I am a speech-language pathologist. During the day, I currently work with 18-21 year old students with disabilities teaching them social, emotional, and life skills. I have experience working with students as young as 5 years old tutoring and/or teaching in the areas of reading, writing, math, science, and providing speech therapy services. I received my Master's Degree in Communication Disorders from Truman State University in 2016. I would love the opportunity to get to know you and assist with your tutoring needs!
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: Truman State University - Bachelors, Communication Disorders
Graduate Degree: Truman State University - Masters, Speech-Language Pathology
Spending time with my husband and dog, reading, watching movies, jogging/walking, spending time outdoors
College Level American History
Elementary School Math
High School English
High School Level American History
PRAXIS Speech Language Pathology
Study Skills and Organization
What is your teaching philosophy?
Teaching is a two-way street: teachers teach students, and students teach teachers.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
I would like to get to know the student and his/her family if possible. I would like to understand his/her strengths and weaknesses, what is motivating to the student, and what the student wants to get out of tutoring.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
I try to motivate students to come up with answers themselves by using their own resources. If I give students the tools to succeed, I try to let them use those tools to learn independently.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
It depends on the student and his/her needs- However, I have utilized strategies such as: schedules of reinforcement, goal writing, graphing (grades and accomplishments), and personal self-talk.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
I would explore the way the child learns best. Often times, a student has difficulty learning a skill because it was not taught in the way that he/she learns best. We would collaborate to find the best strategy for that student so he/she can succeed.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
Reading comprehension can be a very challenging task for some students. There are a variety of strategies that could be explored during tutoring: using a visual, imagery, the rate method, and using tracking devices during reading. I did a research project in graduate school exploring the "reading for a purpose" method, which was found to be successful for my client at the time.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
I have found that it is best to be positive and encouraging when working with a student. I like to bring little treats (pencils, candy, etc.) to tutoring (after getting parent permission) so that a student associates tutoring with a positive time. I also have found that getting to know students’ hobbies and interests can greatly improve their motivation during tutoring.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
I would try to relate the subject to something the student enjoys. For example, if the student is struggling with addition, but enjoys playing soccer, we could try adding up soccer ball stickers.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
I like the "teach back" method. In this method, the student teaches the material he/she learned back to someone else (the tutor, parents, a sibling, a teacher, etc.). This ensures that the student understands the material.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
I like to build a student's confidence by showing them their progress- this is usually done by graphing or looking back at past work to show where they were when they started, compared to the present.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
A student's needs come from a variety of sources: student and parent concern, his/her teacher, analyzing performance in academic subjects, and focusing in on the most important tasks first to ensure improvement.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
I adapt tutoring to the student's needs by making tutoring a very personalized experience. There is no "one-size-fits-all" approach to tutoring, as each child is unique and different, and has different needs.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
I usually use paper, pencil, pen, stickers, markers (if necessary), graph (if necessary), and, of course, the student! Additional materials can always be explored based on the student's needs.