It is my belief that every student can learn. Once an individual's interests and passions can be intertwined with new learning, success is eminent. When success has not occurred, what is left is not called failure, but a learned way of not to do something. As Edison famously stated, "I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work."
When I'm not working, I enjoy spending time in my garden, reading some of the books I own but have yet to read, and taking walks with my dogs.
Undergraduate Degree: University of South Florida-Main Campus - Bachelors, Anthropology
Graduate Degree: University of Phoenix-Online Campus - Current Grad Student, Elementary Education
Reading, gardening, dogs, cooking/food, arts and crafts, board games.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
Patience is the most important concept of reading comprehension. I like to start by using a list of phonemes to better identify where a student is having an issue. In the English language there are often more than one combination of letters to achieve a phoneme, so once these can be treated as sight words, reading comprehension is strengthened once students are no longer struggling with fluency.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
Giving students a short learning style assessment can help me plan the best methods for teaching. The results from this can help me determine the next step in learning.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
By connecting a student with their interests or hobbies into a subject can help them become motivated, or at worst, vaguely interested in the subject at hand. Once this vague interest becomes rewarding with understanding, students can become more confident and genuinely interested in the concepts.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
Comprehensive questions are always better at determining understanding, as they require a student to back up their answer. Similarly, in math, students should show their work, so that they may understand the concepts behind the math.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
Starting small is always a good idea, especially when students are struggling. By beginning with basic concepts and allowing students to know they understand them, this can help build the foundation for further learning.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
A pretest is a good way to start, as it definitively shows what areas are in need. Talking to the student is great though, as this make reveal where students are unsure of themselves or may have misunderstandings of concepts.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
A great tutor or teacher is like a chameleon; able to change their makeup to what surrounds them. By changing my plans to that of the students' learning style, it boosts success and allows students to feel more comfortable.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
A computer is the best tool, as it usually makes up just about any tool you could need. I always carry a graphing calculator so that I may be able to quickly show a physical problem, which can sometimes help with understanding. Simply having maps, charts, and sample formulas is always good too.
What is your teaching philosophy?
I believe that every student is capable of learning. Patience and adaptability are what is needed to overcome any obstacles in your way. No student should ever be treated like they may not be able to accomplish something.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
I usually begin with a quick learning style assessment, so that I may be better able to cater to the student. A quick survey of interests and hobbies can help me build a curriculum, and then I simply talk to the student about what they would like to happen as a result of our sessions.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
When you help a student understand their own strengths and weaknesses, it can allow them to be more independent. Building stamina and comprehension is the foundation for independence.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
Sometimes people overthink things. By switching to a different but still related concept and then returning to the original concept, this helps to create analogies that can be used for learning and understanding.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
Motivation helps students stay with a subject or concept longer. For more disciplined students, something as simple as having a bite of snack after every 5 questions answered correctly can work. For less disciplined students, positive affirmation works much better.