I am a current K through 8th grade teacher. I became interested in teaching young children while in college. During this time I volunteered at a local elementary school. While tutoring I helped teach Kindergarten through 4th grade students how to read and comprehend text. I have most recently taught second, third, and fourth grades and will be teaching 5th grade during the 2016-2017 school year. I enjoy to teach yourng students mathematic because I enjoy using manipulatives either virtual or tangible to help students learn.
I have been involved with private tutoring for about six months now. This school year I have tutored students in groups of three.
I am currently in the process of adding a mathematics endorsement to my teaching license. I will also be improving my practice by returning to school next winter to pursue an Ed.D program.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: Aurora University - Bachelors, Management
Graduate Degree: National Louis University - Masters, Elementary Education
Reading, Organizing events
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
I believe that all children are individuals, and should be taught in a fashion that addresses their individual learning styles and passions as frequently as there is opportunity. I also believe in allotting extra one on one time for struggling students, and allowing more challenging opportunities for advanced students.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
During a typical first session with a student, I would ask general questions about the student’s background and abilities to get an understanding of what goals the student should set.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
It is always best to model what you want from a student. In order to help the student become an independent learner, I will model the characteristics of an independent learner. Then I will guide students through each of those steps until I release the student, and he is able to work independently.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
Some students need intrinsic and extrinsic motivators. If I tutor the student face to face, I might be able to use tangible prizes to motivate the student while also showing students how to productively struggle through a problem to remain intrinsically motivated. Keeping students online motivated is more difficult. I believe modeling self - talk and question analysis would work great in teaching students to stay motivated.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, it is best to find a different delivery method. For example, if a student is not understanding how to carry during addition, it might be best to use manipulatives (tangible or virtual) to demonstrate the concept of regrouping. Sometimes, the concept needs to be broken down in multiple steps in order for a student to understand.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
When students are struggling with reading comprehension, it is best to focus on one comprehension strategy at a time until the student demonstrates mastery. For instance, if a student is not understanding anything he has read, it may be best to have that student focus on a reading element so that he may begin to get something out of the text. For example, a second grader is reading The Three Little Pigs. We will focus on the characters in the story. First we will identify the characters, discuss the difference between supporting and main characters, and discuss how we know a character is a supporting character or main character. Then we will use adjectives to come up with character traits for characters with the story using text evidence to support our answers. After we have done this together with my guidance, students will practice this skill independently with the option to ask for my assistance if needed, and then ultimately independently to show mastery. Then, we move on to setting, problem and solution, cause and effect, compare and contrast, etc. We continue until the student is able to answer questions by pulling this information independently to comprehend texts.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
I found that finding texts and problems that appeal to a student’s interests work best. The learning process needs to be engaging for the student to be successful.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
To help a student get excited or engaged with a subject they are struggling in, I would allow the student to help choose some of the learning material and activities. If students are vested in their learning, they often take more responsibility for their learning whether they are thrilled with the work or not.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
In order to demonstrate mastery, a student needs to independently show me how to complete a task. In ELA, that may look like reading a text, finding elements and producing a writing sample to explain their thinking. In Math, students may have to solve a real world math problem using the skills that they learned.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
It's always best to give students the opportunity to succeed. Do not start off with difficult problems or questions. Student confidence is built when they know that there is possible success. Let students know that it is alright to get problems wrong, and show them how to analyze their mistakes to improve. A good practice is to have students track their assessment data so that they can always keep a record of how they are improving. Seeing improvement builds confidence, especially within competitive individuals.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
Pre assessments that give an instructor an idea of what students already know are still a good way to evaluate a student's needs. Simply asking the students what their needs are will help us in our evaluation. We don't give students enough credit. They often know exactly what they need. Looking at students work samples will also help us evaluate their needs.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
Students will have different needs. Some students may be visual learners and an explanation will not be sufficient. If I am online, I will use virtual manipulatives or write in the designated work space to provide visual examples or to reinforce the idea. In person I will pull out the manipulatives, create mini anchor charts for the students to review, or create hands on activities that will help the student grasp the concept. Whatever the student's needs are, I will be flexible and find the best way to help the student.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
During a typical in person tutoring session, I will normally have a dry erase board and marker so that students can quickly practice skills and try out skills. I will have manipulatives, an iPad so that we can practice skill mastery, flashcards, sing songs, or watch demonstration videos, and a sketch pad so that students can draw out problems.