I am passionate about education and the power of one on one instructional time to transform student attitudes and outcomes. I seek to empower students to better understand themselves and succeed in life. My approach to tutoring is based on games and questioning, to bring fun, and thinking together to create effective sessions that improve student self esteem, effectiveness, and ability.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: New College of Florida - Bachelors, General Studies
modern and improvisational dance, Capoeira Angola, Nature and Wilderness awareness, Ultimate frisbee, neruoscience, cooking, writing
Elementary School Math
High School Business
High School English
Study Skills and Organization
What is your teaching philosophy?
Student engagement is key. When students are engaged and curious, they bring their best thinking and work ethic. Connecting work with students’ lives increases interest, perseverance, and retention.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
My first priority is getting to know them and helping them get to know me. Using questions and games I like to share interests, strengths, challenges, and interesting stories, then move on to learning styles and creating smart goals. The final piece of a first meeting is setting up clear expectations and putting effective organization practices in place to maximize our time together.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
Focusing on a strong foundation and consistent use of strategies builds independent learners. I often have students talk through their thinking and/or teach me how to do something to demonstrate their level of mastery and independence.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
I use multiple strategies depending on their learning style. I always use questioning to get at the specific sub skill or skills they are struggling with. I chunk the concept into smaller pieces. If I can simplify the problem, I do so, to help them get at the foundational skills involved. I compliment students and acknowledge the parts they do understand, and encourage them, helping them to visualize their best self and persevere with an open mentality.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
I strongly believe in fostering intrinsic motivation, and feel the one on one setting of tutoring supports this approach better than the classroom. Setting goals, celebrating success, learning from mistakes, reflecting on the learning journey, and using games, activities and celebrations, as rewards all align with intrinsic motivation. In rare cases, I will work with a student to create an external motivation structure that feels good to the student, family, and myself.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
I gently use the questioning process to identify the area or areas I feel to be most problematic. Does a student reread when they don't understand? Do they have schema to summarize effectively? Do they read with expression? Do they rush? Once I have a clear picture of the specifics, I can focus on strategies that address those areas. Sometimes I will read to students and then have them summarize to see if it is a fluency, memory, or processing problem.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
Get to know them, and help them get to know me. 5 minutes talking about a shared interest early in the process more than makes up for itself over the course of the tutoring relationship. I also set up clear guidelines and organizational expectations so time can be used effectively.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
I often have students talk me through the process they used to get an answer or write something, modelling for them if need be. I also have students teach me how to do something to check their understanding. A last strategy that works well for math is to give them a question with work shown and an incorrect answer, and have them find the mistake.