My students learn the tools to succeed at what they are doing. They discover their true questions and how to take all the steps to understanding and doing things for themselves.
Undergraduate Degree: Yale University - Bachelors, Latin American Studies
What is your teaching philosophy?
My teaching philosophy begins and ends with respect for the student. I believe that each student can find an authentic interest and use for what they are studying It is important to build on levels of understanding and competence. Students learn by doing.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
I chat with the student at the beginning of the first session. I aim to learn what the student wants to learn and how he or she has approached the material so far. We look at some of the content that the student is working with and identify some strengths, questions, and areas to work on. Homework may be assigned to reinforce what the student has learned in the session.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
Vygotsky's zone of proximal development is an important concept here. This refers to the difference between what a student can do with help as compared to what a student can do without help. One of my strategies to help students to become more independent as learners is to show them how to discover what they can do by themselves.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
Most students will stay motivated when they are in pursuit of understanding and proficiency. It is important to them to experience and appreciate their accomplishments. They are extremely significant, even if they seem relatively small at first.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
A few things that are important are to be patient and empathetic, and to find the causes of the difficulty. It is important to demonstrate the acquisition of the skill or concept. I use holistic approaches as well as special attention, repetition and alternate approaches to the problem areas. Confidence must be cultivated.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
There are a number of reasons why students struggle with reading comprehension. I have worked with students to improve their reading comprehension in both English and Spanish. It is okay to read slowly. I may on work on high frequency words or phonics or ask frequent important comprehension questions to work on their processing skills and habits. Group work can help.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
An important strategy when I start to work with a student Is to have him or her show me what they most like to do or study. This does not initially have to be related to the subject of the tutoring. I can gradually help the student make those connections.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
When students are struggling with a subject, it could be that they don't know how to begin or have had a bad experience that they associate with it. I model how I am excited and engaged with the subject and invite them to begin working with me on it. That way the student is part of successful engagement with the subject rather than seeing the subject as something fearsome or foreign.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
Formal and informal formative assessments.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
One way is to have them teach the subject to another person (or me). The student realizes how much they know when they can do that.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
To me, a student's needs are what he needs to be able to do or know in order to achieve his or her goals. This can be evaluated through observation and conversation.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
In many ways. The plan is always for the student to be able to do more and more his or herself.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
Paper, pencils or pens, markers, marker boards, cell phones, computers.